Many of you will know that this season, I have taken on the role of Junior Chairman from Matt Cape. On behalf of the club I wish to begin by thanking Matt for the work and time he has dedicated to the Juniors in the past five years.
Matt has overseen an extremely successful period for the Juniors on and off the pitch. Through his hard work we have established ourselves as the largest Junior section in the County. I am pleased to say that Matt will continue to work with us helping out with the Colts.
Like Matt, I am extremely keen to see as many children involved in playing rugby at the club as is possible. It is vital that we develop the children from tag through to the Colts in order to provide players for all the senior teams at the club. We are focused on developing our players, whatever their skill level, so that they enjoy their rugby and their time with teammates. Our ethos of inclusivity succeeds in achieving these aims. We appreciate that different players develop at different times. All our coaches understand this and are dedicated to the development of your child on the rugby pitch.
Success is measured in many different ways and not only by the games and trophies that we win, which we do, but our greatest success is having almost 600 hundred registered Mini and Junior players.
This coming season will see our younger players once again involved in the County Festivals for the U9-U12 age groups. However the GRFU will not be running competitions for the U13 – U16 age groups.
They are conducting a review of these competitions and will make a decision later in the season as to their future.
We are successful in many other ways. Our Safeguarding team ensure that we have all the relevant measures in place so that the environment your children play in is safe.
We have marketing experts who strive to identify sponsors and market the benefits of our club. We have administrators who deal with the RFU, player registration, finance and fund raising. All these people contribute significantly to the success of our club.
We also have a fantastic and generous group of sponsors. Without their commitment to the Junior section we would not achieve all that we have. Should you need any of their services please think of them first.
We are also grateful to all the schools and Gloucestershire University who allow us to use their facilities. Without these pitches we could not function as a club.
The conclusion of the season saw the fourth annual Junior Summer Ball. I am grateful to all those who helped organise the event and to the 170 people who attended. This event raises vital funds for the club and you can read about it elsewhere in this Welcome. This year we will be using some of the funds raised by the Summer Ball to provide a subsidy to each registered player to purchase an item of playing kit.
The forthcoming season again promises to be exciting for the club. The first team are promoted and playing in the South West Premier Division and the Junior section will do all they can to support their efforts in this league.
In November we will welcome the new U9’s to the Junior section. I am confident that with the support of all the coaches, administrators and supporters the juniors will go from strength to strength. I wish all our players and coaches success for the new season ahead and I hope that your children have as much enjoyment in the forthcoming months as they did last season.
Alistair Armstrong – Junior Chairman