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RFU President presents award to Newton Aycliffe RUFC

29 January 2014

  • Newton Aycliffe RUFC becomes 500th club in country to gain RFU accreditation
  • RFU President Bob Reeves presents special award to club members
Newton Aycliffe RUFC President Rod Shepherd and RFU President Bob Reeves

Photo: Sally Evans

On Thursday, January 23, Newton Aycliffe RUFC, Darlington, welcomed RFU President Bob Reeves to the club to present a special plaque in recognition of them becoming the 500th club in the country to gain RFU accreditation.

The RFU President congratulated all present for securing the prestigious award: “Having been an integral part of their local community for 55 years, the club richly deserves this recognition.

“This is a fantastic achievement by the club and a significant milestone for the RFU and everyone involved in grassroots rugby. Club rugby lies at the heart of rugby in England and the RFU is committed to supporting and strengthening clubs and growing the game in the communities around them.”

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. 

Netwon Aycliffe’s success means that all clubs in County Durham have now achieved their RFU accreditation under the guidance of RFU Rugby Development Officer Matt Bryan.

Newton Aycliffe RUFC President Rod Shepherd said: “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 who give a considerable amount of their time to providing an affordable and enjoyable rugby experience to the local community.” 

“We’d like to thank the RFU President for taking the time to join us to celebrate this historic day for the club.

“We’d also like to thank RFU Rugby Development Officer Matt Bryan who has been instrumental in enabling us to achieve this success. He has made sure the club is in the best shape it can be and has guided us through the self-assessment process to earn RFU accredited status. His dedication to the growth of rugby in the North East deserves recognition.”

Matt Bryan said: “Everyone at the club has worked so hard over the past year to ensure they meet the standards required to provide the best possible environment for their players and supporters.

“We have identified priorities and planned for the recruitment and retention of players. They have already been successful in welcoming 10-12 more players for their 1st team squad and are putting plans in place for a second team and a youth section for the 2014/15 season.”

Added Chairman Bryan Parsonage: “With a home Rugby World Cup in 2015 we expect to attract even more members.  This is a great time for our sport and we can guarantee that anyone getting involved at Newton Aycliffe RUFC will have a marvellous time and they can see from the plaque on the wall that we are right up there with the best.”