We're back! Shoreham Rugby Club stay strong through lockdown
With Six Nations tournament over, community rugby returns to Shoreham RFC in April, with players and coaches desperate to dust down their boots and return to training and playing.
Despite the challenges of last year and the Covid-19 pandemic, the club have gone from strength to strength.
Established in 1992 with the aim of being a community club, last year the club had 140 youth players starting from under-six to under-15s, with five of their youth players being picked by the Rugby Football Union (RFU) pathway, a first for the West Sussex club.
Their seniors’ first XV team achieved a historic league and cup double, becoming the Harvey’s Armada Ale Sussex 2 Division champions and winners of the Harvey’s Sussex Plate.
This year the club have ambitious plans. James Drummond-Davies has been appointed as the new youth chairman and plans to continue the successful growth of playing numbers in team from under-six through to under-15 (girls and boys play together up to under-12) by recruiting local children from schools and the surrounding areas and to take a new crop of players through to Colts level (under-17s) in just over a year’s time.
With the aim of being more inclusive and diverse, the youth section are looking to establish a new dedicated girls’ team and pathway to progress girls who play at the club from 12 upwards into their own new girls’ team structures.
The club are recruiting for coaches for the girls’ team. Children who play for Shoreham benefit from RFU trained coaches who ensure training and matches are fun, and that kids learn discipline, respect, teamwork and build lasting friendships with teammates.
The senior squad, whose numbers grew last year, will be developing their second XV to create a pathway for players new to rugby or returning to rugby to join and start playing with more established squad players.
They have appointed John Lewis as second XV captain.
They have also selected Chris Reynolds (also under-eights girls and boys’ coach) from within the club as forwards coach to assist Alex Hadfield, who oversaw one of the most successful seasons the seniors’ first XV have ever had, playing a new expansive and entertaining brand of rugby.
Mark Lavery has been appointed 1st XV captain taking over from fellow front rower Daryn Clarke who led the team through their recent successes.
Shoreham RFC will be a community club, with volunteers, coaches, referees, players and parents from Shoreham and the surrounding area all contributing to the successful running of the club.
The club know all too well the importance of grassroot sport as they see first-hand how it helps to build confidence, friendships, promotes fitness and a sense of local community, while having a lot of fun along the way.
The recent lockdowns have shown how much everyone misses grassroots sports and all of the benefits if brings. The club continues discussions with Adur & Worthing councils on rebuilding plans developed by the club for the community facilities at their home in Buckingham Park, Shoreham. The club have been fundraising for a number of years to help support this ambitious project.
The RFU have set clear guidelines for a safe return to rugby that the club follows. So, if you would like your kids to try something new, or return to rugby, or perhaps you want to get back into rugby or would love to improve your fitness, or you know someone else that does, Shoreham RFC would love to welcome you to their community club.
Youth teams return on Easter Sunday at 10am at Buckingham Park, Shoreham, BN43 6BA. They will also be playing every Sunday at Buckingham Park during the summer, with some squads running additional sessions.
If you have any questions please contact James Drummond-Davies at [email protected] or www.shorehamrugby.co.uk
The senior squad (over-17s) return to training tonight (April 1, 7pm at the 4G floodlight pitch at Sir Robert Woodard Academy Lancing).
There will also be another session there on April 8. After this, training will be at Buckingham Park every Thursday at 6.50pm through spring and summer.
Email [email protected] for more details or visit www.shorehamrugby.co.uk