- Wortley take another step forward with new award
- Sheffield club maintain their rapid development
Photo: RFU Archive
Wortley RFC from Sheffield have been making great strides since they won the RBS RugbyForce competition in 2011, with further evidence of that progress coming recently with the presentation of the prestigious RFU Club Accreditation Award.
The RBS success launched a voyage of discovery for Wortley which saw them rubbing shoulders with some of the best-known names in English rugby. Record England cap holder Jason Leonard and current player Tom Palmer both attended the RBS RugbyForce makeover day at the club and within weeks senior officials were at Twickenham for the launch of last season’s RBS 6 Nations.
That was followed up by an appearance ahead of one of the Twickenham matches of a group of Wortley juniors to ensure that all sectors of the club were sharing equally in the spotlight.
The presentation of the RFU Club Accreditation plaques, however, was a much more localised affair, with the formalities being conducted by their landlord and great friend of the club, Lady Rowena Stuart Wortley. The Wharncliffe Estate, which the land Wortley RFC occupy forms part of, has been a very accommodating landlord at a time when the club has started a modest but significant development.
"We were delighted when Lady Rowena accepted an invitation to make the presentation," said Club Chairman Mick O’Toole. "The Wharncliffe Estate has been very helpful with one or two elements of the club’s recent initiatives and it was a pleasure for all of us to have her involved in what was a very proud moment for us.
"Accreditation has confirmed the club’s commitment to the development of rugby as a major sport and its standing in the community as a respected club, where enjoyment comes first and everyone is welcome to take part in whatever way they are able.
"The club is dependent on a small but dedicated band of volunteers. As is often the case most of the volunteer team undertake more than one role and give a considerable amount of their time to providing an affordable and enjoyable rugby experience to the local community.
"We are also very lucky to have local sponsors and without them all the expenditure involved in running even a modest operation like ours would be hard to find. Obviously being on good terms with our landlord is equally important if we are to sustain the momentum created by the RBS RugbyForce project.
The Rugby Football Union Club Accreditation scheme aims to help all rugby clubs in England become stronger, more effective, more efficient and more enjoyable places to play rugby.
Accreditation earns advantages like the Sport England Clubmark, which recognises the excellence of junior sections, together with increased status and credibility with local authorities, educational establishments and potential sponsors.
“With a home Rugby World Cup in 2015 we expect to attract even more members,” said O’Toole. “This is a great time for our sport and we can guarantee that anyone getting involved at Wortley RFC will have a marvellous time and make lots of new friends.
“Whether playing rugby, helping out as volunteers or simply watching the games everyone is welcome and they can see from the plaque on the wall that we are right up there with the best.”