Bournville RFC Head of Community and Community Group’s Head of Delivery, Steve Johns pens his latest blog

When the world’s activities came to a temporary standstill during the last few months, we saw the best within individuals in our local communities, clubs, charities and businesses coming to the fore. This has never been more true than in community sport and it embodies the spirit of rugby.

This is also a time when there has been an obvious financial impact of the pandemic on rugby’s governing bodies. The spirit of the community game at club level has never been stronger, and I am certain that rugby clubs will continue to find new ways to be innovative and seek sustainability for their members. This is what we strive to put in place at all of our clubs and is what I have been personally implementing at Bournville RFC.

At Community Group, the Heads of Community and I will continue to drive the game forward with the best of our ability. We are always looking for opportunities to help people access the activities we offer.

We will continue to be giving of our time and skills to those that really need it, both in the sport of rugby and in the wider community. This mindset has been evident with the support we provide communities close to our partner clubs and for our partner clubs themselves. We have regular video calls between all of the Heads of Community and there has been a definite ‘can do’ attitude among the team.

For Bournville RFC, we have had a busy couple of months since my last blog. Delivery is getting started again across the Department and it’s very much ‘exciting times ahead’ on a number of fronts.

Camps

We have recently completed week 1 of our Rugby and Multi Sport holiday camps in August for children aged 5-15. We had a total of 64 different children attend across the week (who had a great time in all weathers) – this is a record for our camps at Bournville and it was a fantastic week!

We had ex-Premiership player for Bristol Bears, Will Hurrell, taking the lead on the senior rugby camp. It was brilliant to see the children doing a Q&A with Will – the questions included: “What was it like playing against Manu Tuilagi and Maro Itoje?”. Will was a true gent and we were delighted he was able to coach – it’s always great when a coach really connects with the players with a smile on their face!

Walking Rugby

We are also starting up walking rugby for the over-50s again after a few months of enforced restriction. I know from my conversations with the walking rugby members that they are raring to go and have been chomping at the bit to start again (with as much enthusiasm as the five-year-olds on our camps!). We will look to resume in September and getting regular delivery back for these members.

Fundraising and bids

I have been regularly in touch with the Bournville RFC committee over the last few months with updates on our funded projects. It’s always great to receive a phone call or email from the committee letting me know of a funding success!

We have been fortunate over this period to have had projects approved which will drive forward our department. Some wins are small charities contributing to essential hardware such as wheelchairs for our Wheelchair Rugby sessions, others have been from larger institutions such as the National Lottery Community Fund for the vulnerable within the community.

We are always grateful of all bids and funds, no matter how small, as they all play their part in enabling the sustainability of what we do across the department.

Schools

We start resuming our community engagement with partner schools in September. We are running a series of offers over this term, all compliant and working with schools on their individual guidelines and policies. We are looking forward to new schools coming on board. All schools in the Midlands who would like to work with us can contact me on community@bournvillerfc.co.uk.

Community Sport Health Officer course

We have set up an initiative which will see 30 senior players complete the Level 3 Community Sport Health Officer Course, enabling them to actively coach and support age-group rugby at Bournville RFC. This will not only support the players themselves and get them upskilled in delivery, but will also support the club with senior players giving back to the community and age group levels of the game. This course started in August and we are looking forward to the next 12 months of learning and delivery.

Sponsorship

We are launching our sponsorship offers for the club and have a series of offers for local and national businesses or individuals. If you, or anyone you know, wants to support the great work going on within Bournville RFC, please do get in touch by clicking HERE.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss any of the above, I would be delighted to hear from you. Please contact community@bournvillerfc.co.uk.

If you would like to know more about how Community Group can support your club, please get in touch by clicking HERE.