President's XV winning case studies
President’s XV Awards 2010/11, supported by QBE, Winners and Runners-up
1. This Is Rugby award winners: Royal Holloway University Women’s Rugby Club
Royal Holloway's women's rugby club has worked hard over the last 12 months to ensure that every member not only embodies but also promotes the core values of rugby - Teamwork, Respect, Enjoyment, Discipline and Sportsmanship - as part of a 25-member team.
Numbers have been better than ever and work continues to advertise the club and make rugby available to any female student, regardless of their level of rugby experience.
The girls also work hard to promote the game in the community, with youngsters at Egham Rugby Club getting the benefit from coaching by the Royal Holloway girls.
The RHUL have also been working in the local community to draw attention to the values of and fulfilment gained from rugby, that element of being demonstrated by sessions every month at Spelthorne Disability Sport's Club.
As well as appearing on local radio and writing articles for London and university newspapers, the club has become involved in Raise and Give week, Make a Difference Day and volunteering weeks at Royal Holloway – all efforts indicative of a commitment to strengthening the profile of women’s rugby at the University and further afield.
Runners-up: Whitley Bay Rockcliff, Witney
2. One New Team award winners: Grasshoppers RFC
Grasshoppers RFC has more than fulfilled the requirements of their category in that they are in the process of creating an entire league of teams rather than a single entity. Moreover, their efforts have benefited a group of people who are new to the game.
Their initiative stems from coaching in two special needs schools in Hounslow and working with the RFU's community coaches to host a school festival which includes special need schools from neighbouring boroughs.
While working with these schools and organisations, Grasshoppers identified that there are a number of older players with learning difficulties who would like to play the game and in their drive to bring the sport to a wider audience, they have organised a league for Over 16 players with mild learning difficulties.
Ruislip RFC and Twickenham RFC were early participants and Saracens Amateurs make up the quartet that will not only introduce players to the sport, but also to the camaraderie that comes from being part of a team and a club.
Runners-up: Old Emanuel, Redditch
3. More Volunteers award winners: Eastern Counties RFU
In the last twelve months the Eastern Counties RU Volunteer Committee has been set up and consists of a ECRU Volunteer Coordinator and three Sub-county volunteer coordinators. The impact this small group of volunteers has had on raising the profile of volunteers and volunteering has been remarkable.
Their strategy has been simple - provide the clubs with the tools and training they need and provide a recognition system that rewards excellence and is easy to access.
They also formed a Volunteer Recognition Group with the objectives of supporting the delivery of the RFU Presidents XV Awards from a local level, introducing a local level ECRU President’s Awards system and providing advice, support and guidance to individuals with nominations for awards at all levels throughout the year.
The ECRU volunteer committee have worked hard throughout the year in preparation for this year’s awards. Early communication and regular reminders to clubs across the ECRU has kept volunteer recognition high on clubs agendas. In the CB annual action plan they set themselves a target to increase the nominations from 22 last year to 30 this year. They have smashed that target with nominations moving towards 40.
Runners-up: Long Buckby, Morpeth
4. Better Referees award winners: Ealing Trailfinders RFC
The Referee Section at Ealing Trailfinders RFC has recognised the importance of improving both the number and quality of referees. The Section now has 81 qualified referees and under the guidance of its chairman, Pete Paterson, continues to put in tremendous effort in the recruitment and training of new referees.
The Section has formed a Referee Academy. Its purpose is to identify new referees, not only from the mini, midi and youth coaches at the club, but also from the pool of the youth players and from others outside the club.
This season, eighteen new referees passed the ELRA course of which eight were adult volunteers (six coaches from the mini/midi section and two teachers from local schools), the remainder being eight male and two female youth players from the club.
Runners-up: Chobham, Rosslyn Park
5. Quality coaches award winners: Kettering RFC
Kettering Rugby Football Club recognises that coach development is the fundamental pre-requisite to player recruitment, retention and development from Under 7s to First Team players. Long before the introduction of Continual Personal Development courses for coaches, KRFC ran their own coaching workshops and they were one of the first clubs to buy into the RFU scheme and recognise its benefits.
The club's Coaching Co-ordinator plays a pivotal role in ensuring the CPDs are promoted and delivered.
KRFC recognises the importance of ensuring all coaches have the appropriate level of qualifications for their age group and have, in conjunction with the RFU, developed a Youth Coaching plan and are currently developing a "Club Player/Coach Development plan", which hopefully will prove to be an example of "Best Practice" and drive standards even higher.
Runners-up: Birmingham & Solihull, Old Brodleians
6. Better Facilities award winners: Buckingham RUFC
Buckingham RUFC has been on a self-help mission for almost 30 years, continuously improving facilities since buying their 11-acre ground in 1982.
Gradual improvements followed on all fronts as numbers grew, the most recent development coming last year in the shape of a new £175,000 changing room block.
Now the club has its sights on a £40,000 kitchen and cellar expansion and a full set of training lights on a rented field.
The effort in expanding and improving facilities has seen the Club grow both in numbers, particularly youth and ladies. In 1982 the club hada mere handful of mini rugby children, four senior men's sides, and no vision of a ladies side.
The increase in quality and quantity of pitches has been driven by the growth in playing numbers, which now stands at around 500 youth players, a very strong ladies section and three men’s sides and an occasional Vets team.
Runners-up: Burnage, Chelmsford
7. Girl Power award winners: Thurrock Ladies RFC
The Thurrock T-Birds ladies rugby team from Thurrock RFC, Essex have been running for over 15 years and currently sit in Championship 2 South East at the top of the table with their sights set on promotion this year.
They have always received outstanding support from the club and this was demonstrated recently through a supporter’s lunch before a game at which 80 people dined and over 150 watched the match.
The T-Birds have a very young and talented team where 18 girls were selected to represent the county and a further 20 girls were selected for divisional trials. This is topped off by the inclusion of India Harvey in the England Under 18 team last year and Emily Scott in the current England Under 20 side.
Future aims are to gain promotion for the T-Birds into Championship 1 and attract even more higher levels players, to further develop our Under 15 girls and the numbers we have attending training by putting coaches into local schools.
Runners-up: Glossop, Hertfordshire RFU
8. Social Inclusion award winners: Bradford & Bingley RFC
The Bumble Bees Barbarians is the only mixed ability team in England and is the product of an outstanding effort by the Bradford & Bingley club. The team has players who are both able bodied and those who have a range of physical problems and learning difficulties and plays full contact rugby within a managed environment.
The Bumbles have played a handful of games this season, among them their first international fixture in Wales, where they were hosted by Llanelli Warriors.
The Bumble Bees Barbarians are committed to providing inclusive rugby union without boundaries to adults of all abilities, their aims being to provide a safe, enjoyable and competitive arena within rugby union at Bradford and Bingley Rugby Club to a previously excluded group.
Coaching, which was initially provided by the RFU staff, is now run by volunteer members of the Bradford and Bingley Club.
Over 50% of the 20-strong squad have Learning Disabilities and/or Physical Disabilities.
Runners-up: Loughborough Students, Southwark Rugby Tigers
9. Community Links award winners: Aspatria RUFC
Aspatria RUFC is a central focal point to both a town of 2,800 inhabitants and surrounding villages. Their facilities are used by various local organisations, with user groups including Blood donors (NHS), Eat Healthy club, Young Farmers, Horticulture and Cage Bird clubs, while minimal charge are made for private functions like christenings, birthdays and anniversary celebrations.
For the last three years Aspatria have opened their doors to people with Learning Difficulties as part of the Government strategy to integrate disadvantaged people back into the community.
The club has also reached out very successfully to the farming community, an initiative that has swelled the playing ranks, while the formation of a cricket team for 2011 promises new contacts – and the distinction of hosting the first floodlit cricket match in Cumbria.
Runners-up: Aylesbury, Southern Nomads
10. Schools Development award winners: The Grange School & Sports College
The Grange School and Sports College is an important part of the educational and sporting community in Bristol. Drawing from a catchment area that includes three of the most deprived areas in South Gloucestershire, the school and its School Sport Partnership (SSP) have embarked on a comprehensive sporting programme.
It has provided 28 local primary schools in the area with 10 hours of free tag rugby coaching. This culminated with two festivals of rugby, which saw 360 children aged between 9 and 11 taking part. The festivals were staged at two local rugby clubs, helping to strengthen existing school/club links.
Utilising the tournament's success, the SSP then set up a tag rugby after-school club, to encourage players to maintain involvement in the game. Coaches from local clubs coach 'guest' sessions, which provide them the chance to promote their clubs. This recently established initiative has already attracted 20 regular players, none of whom have been involved with rugby before and has formed strong links with Kingswood RFC as the club strives towards the formation of a junior section. Cleve RFC will also be getting involved in the future.
Runners-up: Basingstoke, Leamington
11. Student Rugby (Play on) award winners: Nottingham Moderns RFC
Nottingham Moderns started addressing a player decline when they launched a junior section in 2007 which now has 120 members, but it has onlybeen more recently that the need to re–establish former links with the local universities was addressed.
Nottingham Trent University (NTU) is the closest, with the club located midway between the City and Clifton campuses, and it was in that direction that Moderns set out a marketing strategy and a two-year plan.
Part of that plan was a tie-up with Nottingham Trent which provides playing and training opportunities at the club for NTU students, with one women’s team and one men’s team using the floodlit training facility at reduced rates.
NTU 4th and 5th team now train with the club, which also agreed to provide the university with a coach and committed £1500 to a Community Rugby Coach with a brief to develop links with local FE and HE institutions.
The Club also hosts 3rd team and Women’s fixtures on a Wednesday afternoon and also provides playing opportunities for students on Saturday afternoons.
There are those, of course, who will insist that brokering a deal on the students behalf with a local taxi firm to offer their services at £1 per student per trip to the Campus and Rugby Club was the smartest initiative of all!
Runners-up: Bolton, Five Ways Old Edwardians
12. Fundraising award winners: Castle Cary RFC
Skydiving from 15,000 feet and walking the Three Peaks are just a couple of the projects that Castle Cary RFC have put together to raise enough funds to build new changing rooms and showers, and extend their social facilities.
Thanks to a hefty contribution of £136,000 from waste management firm Viridor, they have raised £196,000, with the balance of £60,000 being delivered by club members in a variety of ways.
These include raffles, book sales, auctions, eight members skydiving, race nights, quiz nights and in June the Three Peaks challenge for 24 members.
There is also keen competition within the club as each team seeks to outdo the others by raising most cash.
Runners-up: Pocklington, UCS Old Boys
12. Communication & Technology award winners: Dudley Kingswinford RFC
Dudley Kingswinford RFC uses a number of innovative media formats to publicise events, news and support the operation of the club - included in this portfolio are anew website and adedicated TV channel DK TV
Two years ago DKRFC became the first RFU affiliated club to partner with Chamber TV, who run a network of bespoke television channels for clients. They have a network across the West Midlands in a growing portfolio of business, leisure, sporting and educational client facilities.
DK TV allows them to generate revenue through advertising and they have approximately twenty sponsors who advertise their brand.
Chamber TV also video a selection of first team games which provides footage for training purposes, although they also edit the game for a highlights package. ‘Newsworthy events’ at the club also get the Chamber TV treatment.
The real advantage is that screen content can be accessed from the Internet via PC, laptop or iPhone, so sponsors get a far wider audience, members can keep fully up to date and share club information with friends.
Runners-up: Hammersmith & Fulham, Old Streetonians
14. Young Volunteers (vRugby) award winners: Liverpool St Helens FC
In 2010, Liverpool St Helens launched its Youth Activities Group and Youth Committee comprising six young people who agreed to meet monthly, their objective being to give young people a voice in the way the club was run and to provide activities and opportunities for other young people within the club and the wider community.
The group designed their own Terms of Reference and Constitution and successfully applied for funding from both the Youth Opportunities Fund and the Youth Capital Fund, approaches which realised over £20,000.
The Committee and Group have now generated 18 new young volunteers who are active within the club and the wider community whilst promoting the brand of rugby union in a rugby league stronghold.
One of the Volunteer projects undertaken by the Group was to refurbish the Club Committee room to an extremely high standard. This room now contains a tuck shop, a pool table, ice hockey table, 3 LCD TVs, DVD Player, Playstation, Wii as well as appropriate seating areas. The Group and its many members now have an area where the young people can socialise and relax in an environment that gives them a real sense of ownership and responsibility.
Runners-up: Birmingham Exiles, Samuel Whitbread Community College
15. Seal of Approval Club of the Year award winners: Lowestoft & Yarmouth RFC
Lowestoft & Yarmouth RFC runs three senior sides as well as a full youth and minis operation, with a girls’ side in the pipeline. Among a comprehensive range of projects and initiatives aimed at encouraging young people to become involved in the club and the game of rugby, a mini-bus collection service for young people in Gt. Yarmouth - a town of high economic deprivation, a large number of immigrant workers and low paid employment - addresses transport issues for a large number of young people would like to play club rugby but do not have the means to get to the club.
The club also supports players by funding all fees for courses and coaching courses, operates a boot and equipment exchange programme and provides back-up for players involved in county training.
A high number of qualified coaches is also a key strength at the club, while on a lighter note, beach rugby sessions are held on a regular basis in the summer.
The club was the first to offer the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme to young volunteers to allow them to qualify for the award via their activities within rugby.
Runners-up: Egremont, Harbury