On the last weekend before all Rugby activity was cancelled saw another milestone for Stone RUFC, putting out their first ever Senior Men’s Second Team. The first ever Ladies side has been a huge success and the first ever Mini & Junior section has also taken off exceptionally well and all continue to grow. All of these firsts have happened within 3 seasons. So how have we achieved this?
Here’s how we have gained more members and players for the two Senior Men’s games to be possible this weekend:
– Our Juniors have a strong bond with their coaches and wouldn’t want to miss the chance of playing alongside them now they have turned 17 years old. The Junior coaches didn’t take much persuading to play alongside them even though some were very much retired, this bond has come from the total dedication player and coach have shown each other over many years.
– The Transition Programme has helped shape a natural progression from Junior to Senior rugby and proved a very useful tool.
– For the last couple of Summers our seniors have taken part in the Summer Touch series along with our Juniors and they know each other well and are comfortable to play alongside them.
– We have ran very extensive pre-season sessions with all manner of activities to attract the Seniors and the Juniors in order for them to get used to working together, including athletics, MMA, gymnastics for the last 3 seasons.
– Our Senior Men actively coach our Juniors and our Ladies team with the Ladies & Junior coaches.
– The Senior Men have found themselves short of players themselves in the past but the tireless work of the team members to sort availability each week has grown the side via Whatsapp groups and word of mouth.
– We have qualified, all inclusive coaches that concentrate on player experience to provide a safe, comfortable and fun platform to learn or return to rugby.
– We are very lucky to have a committee that have full faith and trust in the people ‘on the ground’ with this in mind they do everything they can to support all our needs whether it’s funds for training grounds, fun days out for everyone to bond, taking care of our pitches, safeguarding, sorting refs and finding sponsorship for this all to occur.
– Any player is welcome, other local club members have played for us on an ad hoc basis if they do not have a fixture.
– The parents of our younger players are very active in fund raising and supporting the club with all the volunteering roles they undertake, so when players do come down they have a great experience and want to play again.
– In order to get the Second Senior Men’s team out we have asked players to bring friends from their new school/college/workplace, with a free Club T-shirt incentive for the recruiter.
– Members of Stone (Men, Women & Juniors) have thought about who they know in rugby who still live locally whether it’s from 20 year ago at school, friends and siblings of their children, local players currently at university that have family that still live locally; and made a call.
– The members of our club enjoy ‘The Whole Club’ vibe we have at Stone and are happy to put as much effort in to helping other sections as their own. For example we have Stone Roses recruiting for the Senior side, Junior coaches recruiting for the Women’s side and even Junior players coaching the women’s side. This ethos is the main reason for our success. There is a huge pool of people working together even if it doesn’t directly benefit them; born from valuing every member equally and working towards the common goal of growing our club.
– We have fantastic, qualified coaches who continue to educate themselves and provide brilliant training sessions, so when players have turned up they usually stay!
– We have new team members in the 2’s who are parent’s from the M&J Section or partner’s of the women’s side.
– The local community have become very aware of our club presence from the World Cup School Festival with over 100 pupils attending and 15 club volunteers supporting on the day and coaches going into schools to promote. This has brought totally new youngsters to the game and ex-player parents to the club, who are now involved in the senior sides.
– Stone Roses was started with the players wants and needs as forefront, building a culture that the team is for them which has encouraged recruitment , many totally new players and returning players are involved. We have 35 players now between the ages of 17-35 years. These players have offspring, partners and friends who have been encouraged to join our club and give rugby a go too after their very positive experience!
Quote from Gary Cunningham our Club Chairman “ Extremely proud of the club, the work by everyone to get it up and running, great parents and support from a band of dedicated coaches/helpers from Little Grubbers to Seniors. I couldn’t be prouder to lead this club into the future. Rugby is an amazing opportunity for players of all ages and ability to enjoy. Great to see a Second Team out and looking forward to next season already”.