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President Bob Reeves

RFU President Bob Reeves

Photo: RFU Archive

Bob Reeves' professional background is in university sport, sports management and coaching. He was Director of Sport, Exercise and Health at the University of Bristol for over 25 years, until 2010. He was one of the first in the university sector to establish a sports performance programme for students, enabling them to fulfil their potential both academically and in sport.

Many of those he coached and mentored went on to achieve international success. Among these were eight rugby internationals, including Kyran Bracken and Josh Lewsey. Five products of the University high performance sports programme took part in the 2012 Olympic Games, three of these winning medals.

He was the Minister of Sport nominee on the Regional Sports Council for nine years and for six was a member of the Physical Education Association of UK Executive Committee, as well as serving as Chairman of its International Committee.

Bob has been a member of the Team West of England Olympic Steering Group, and prior to the Olympic Games was given an award for the West of England’s biggest contribution towards Olympic and Paralympic legacy. This was mainly for organising the Kenyan Olympic and Paralympic teams to use Bristol as a base ahead of the Games. Bob is Chairman of the Bristol Kenya Partnership, which among other things, has arranged for 21 Bristol schools to be twinned with counterparts in Kenya.

He has been involved in student rugby for over 40 years, representing the Students RFU on the RFU Council since 1995, and chairing the SRFU from 2001 to 2012. He was one of the first senior and then staff coaches of the RFU in 1981, having been coach of Bristol University and was also coach and manager of English Universities and England Students for more than 15 years. He coached England Students during the Student World Cup of 1988, as well as managing the University Select Sevens squad in the Safari 7s in Kenya from 1995 – 2006. He was a member of the Student World Cup Organising Committee in 2000 and was a founder of the Student European Cup, which ran from 1998 until 2004.

Bob was Backs Coach at Bristol RFC over an extended period, including when the club reached Pilkington Cup Finals of 1983 and 84. He helped establish the Gloucestershire RFU Coaching Committee, being Chairman for many years, serving on the Gloucestershire RFU executive committee for three years. He also organised the South West Coaching Conference for 15 years.

A member of the Club England Standing Committee from 1996 to 2008, his paper commissioned by Club England and the RFU ‘The Development of Elite Rugby in England’ was presented to Council in 1998. He was a member of the Coach Development Committee from 2004 – 2011 and a member of the Academies Steering Group prior to their inception, as well as being a member of the Annual Review Panel for Academies, Under 21s and Sevens .

Bob is a director of the Foundation for Leadership through Sport, a charity which aims to assist in developing leadership skills through sports participation that can then be transferred into life beyond sport.


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