Photo: RFU Archive
The RFU, supported by Investec have developed an Intramural rugby programme for the season 2010–2011 which culminates in a finale event at Twickenham on April 26 alongside the BUCS finals.
In total, over 140 teams at 21 Universities have benefitted from the programme and received resources in its first year attracting more players, teams coaches, volunteers & referees to the game of rugby.
Intramural Rugby has over the years been a huge success for attracting new players to the game in an environment which is more informal, but no less fun or enjoyable. The idea behind ‘Investec Intramural Rugby’ is to support the current competitions that are running throughout the country and to encourage new competitions within universities and colleges.
The new initiative is part of the current ‘Higher Education Rugby Development Programme (HERDP). Therefore, any university or college that currently has an up to date HERDP development plan can now choose to become part of ‘Investec Intramural Rugby’.
The RFU has delivered additional support and resources to universities that have signed up including:
- CD-ROM (Organisational tools)
- Empty Belly posters to promote competitions
- Results cards
- Exclusive size 5 balls
- Team entry forms
To wrap up a successful year or Intramural rugby a mini festival is being held at Richmond on the morning of the BUCS final, with the final being played on the pitch between the women’s and men’s games.
The teams competing for a chance to play on the hallowed turf are:
Royce Hall IMS team (Loughborough)
Photo: RFU Archive
Led by 4th year manager James Elsley and 2nd year captain Danny Heyns, Royce has had its best season in recent years. Finishing 5th place last year the team have moved up to the top of the table, going undefeated from week 2, winning the title with a 22-10 victory over traditional powerhouse Elvyn Richards. The team’s style is seen as throwback to traditional English rugby, with a focus on forward dominance, winning the breakdown and destructive forward play. Royce Hall rugby has always been a more social than serious team, however this year, known as the golden generation, have broken the hold of traditional big guns in Loughborough IMS and won the prestigious title for the first time in over 30 years.
Tigers Student Halls team (University of Bath)
The Rugby Union Student Halls Development (or RUSH-D) League was set-up at the University of Bath this year in response to a lack of competitive fixtures available to non-BUCS athletes. The four teams, Bulldogs, Anacondas, Tigers and Hawks (BATH) were based around the campus halls and were then hosted by four community clubs who adopted the teams providing them with coaching and facility space.
This year’s winners were the Tigers. This team is made up from Marlborough, Solsbury and Woodland Court residences and they have been based with local Bath club, Old Culverhaysians. They are united team who have worked really hard this year to maintain numbers for playing and training and thoroughly deserve the opportunity to play in this tournament after a very good season.
Driven by a dedicated and hard-working bunch of volunteers, the league has seen a successful inaugural season meaning that the number of games that non-BUCS players have played in has nearly tripled, so much so that the league will now be hoping to expand further next year into more variants of the game (touch and sevens) which will also be hall-based. Next year’s programme will also include further support for students to develop as coaches and referees as well as players to make the programme fully sustainable.
Orbital UH team (University of Bristol)
Photo: RFU Archive
Orbital UH RFC is made up of freshers from University Hall and Orbital (a society which brings together over 800 first years scattered across the city in smaller accommodation), as well a few older players who are previous members. They have achieved numerous things this year on top of winning the intramural tournament, including training two players who had never played before, having two qualified referees and a successful tour to Latvia. The team is captained by Ian Sperring, and whose hard work has been combined with that of Graham Hinchly and Jon Cresswell for organising the tournament and James Hosegood as chair of the referee’s society.
The support provided to the intramural rugby championship by Investec builds on their continued involvement with student rugby and successful contribution to recruitment and retention of players through freshers fairs. For more information on how to get involved in the intramural and freshers fairs programmes contact firstname.lastname@example.org.