Community Group’s Head of Community at Chinnor RFC Thame, Junior Fatialofa pens his first blog, providing an update from his first eight months in the role.

Since my appointment in February 2022, I have been given the opportunity to reflect on a busy eight months, which has been a fun and enjoyable experience connecting the club and community together.

In this blog, I will provide an update on our delivery to date and also details on projects we have in the pipeline.

HAF Camps

I am pleased to report that our HAF Camps during the Easter and Summer holidays were a real success. We were able to provide 600 meals across 33 days of fun filled activities for children who are eligible for free school meals in the local area.

There have been so many success stories from the HAF Camps, ranging from healthy eating and regular exercise, providing the children with motivation to experience different foods and activities. We are also pleased to say that a handful of the children have expressed an interest in attending rugby taster sessions on Sundays with a view to them joining the Club.

I would like to thank Oxfordshire County CouncilWaitrose & Partners’ ‘Give A Little Love’ campaign and all of our local businesses – Treacles Tea RoomsNewitt’s of Thame and Patrons Pizza – for providing great support during these camps.

Sport Camps

Our sport camps have seen more than 500 children in attendance across the spring half-term, Easter and summer holidays.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our Community Coaches who consistently provided excellent levels of coaching in a fun and safe environment.

Our camps are designed to develop new skills, create new friendships and build confidence, both on and off the pitch so please look out for our October half-term and Christmas camps, with more details coming soon.

School delivery

We have engaged with more than ten schools in the local area, delivering tag rugby/multi-sport, girls rugby coaching, specialist rugby coaching and mentoring programmes, we are also delighted to be continuing with our My Personal Best programme in partnership with the North Oxfordshire School Sport Partnership.

This is all linked in to Community Group’s Educational Solutions document, promoting programmes of activities for schools and children to take part in. This document really highlights the benefits of our solutions to children and we have seen a large uptake in engagement. If you like to know more about our Educational Solutions document, please click HERE or contact me on community@chinnor-rfc.com.

Bids

We have been successful in securing funding from Sport England, specifically The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Activity Fund to promote girls rugby and physical activity in schools. This will enable the community coaches to deliver coaching sessions in schools for girls aged 12-16 for six months and this will begin this month.

We will also be bringing back Walking Rugby as an offering. We are looking to re-launch in October and this will be for all ages, abilities and genders, thanks to the support and funding from The National Lottery Community Fund.

Minis and Juniors

We are looking to continue and increase the interaction of our Senior Squad members to help coach teams in the Mini and Junior section of the club, reinforcing the ‘one club’ ethos on both Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings.

Community Group has built a support package for clubs to provide Continuous Personal Development (CPD) with their Mini & Junior coaches, initially working through the CPD course on the introduction to Tag and Tackling (for specific ages). The programme also supports coaches of all age groups in planning, delivering and evaluating sessions. This is all led by Community Group through former RFU coach mentors and has been funded through Sport England’s Return To Play fund.

If you would like any more information on the Community Department at Chinnor RFC Thame, please click HERE to view our community page. Alternatively, you can contact me on community@chinnor-rfc.com.

Community Group specialise in aiding the enrichment, well-being and health of our communities through wide-ranging and exceptional opportunities. If you would like to know more about how Community Group can support your club, please get in touch by clicking HERE.