More Volunteers award 2007/08
Malton & Norton RFC (Yorkshire)
In 2001, Malton & Norton RFC recognised the need to create a club infrastructure of volunteers to cater for the burgeoning demand for Mini and Youth rugby at the club, to complement the existing Senior Committee structure and to ensure the effective transition of young players into senior rugby.
Following RFU guidelines for a Committee structure and ensuring all procedures met with the demands of the RFU Seal of Approval (awarded to the Club in 2002/3), a small band of volunteer Committee members began to develop a framework for effective management of Mini/Youth rugby. Existing coach volunteers had expressed the need for administration issues to be handled by others to release time for coaching, and with player numbers growing rapidly, additional volunteer coaches were also required.
Today an infrastructure has been developed of two (or more) coaches in each age group from U7 to U17, alongside a Team Manager and qualified First Aider, backed by a Mini/Youth Rugby Committee numbering ten members. A network of qualified volunteer referees has also been developed to support the growing demand for their service. Recruitment was achieved by raising the profile of Mini/Youth rugby at the club through innovative use of the website and effective use of local press to cover the success of the teams.
It was also felt that recruiting players would bring volunteers and this has proved successful. The club embraced the “Go Play Rugby” campaign; recruiting players and volunteers through a series of fun rugby evenings and screenings of England World Cup games. In the past two years these efforts have been expanded to create a fast developing girls rugby section within the club, with considerable support being given to the volunteers who first encouraged girls to play, via existing club volunteer coaches, arranging and accommodating fixtures and considerable input arranged from the local RDO and CRC.
Retention of volunteers has been achieved by supporting their development through all available training and development, including coaching, first aid and refereeing, via the RFU and other sources of training provision. Full use is made of East Yorkshire RFU resources with regular training provision arranged for our volunteer coaches delivered by our CRC. External specialist coaching input is also invested in by the club to help develop coaches. The club is an enthusiastic supporter of East Yorkshire RFU Mini/Youth rugby and recognition of the contribution of all has been achieved by reward and encouragement.
The Mini/Youth Chairman gives an annual “Clubman of the Year” award to reward outstanding contribution, with recent recipients including Fixtures Secretaries, a Secretarial Administrator, Coaches and Referees. The past Club Presidents invite volunteers to informal social gatherings and formal President’s Dinners and full club support is given to the traditional end of season tours for all Mini and Youth teams and their volunteer members.