E4R Club Partner - Huddersfield RUFC

February 3, 2016

Goals for the Season:

  • 1st XV - remain in their league (National 2 North) and hit 60 point mark which should ensure league safety
  • 2nd XV – Continue to provide the development pathway for the 1st’s and also continue to enjoy success as a team!
  • 3rd XV – Retain their imperious form and continue to improve at the rapid rate in which they are. (Also chase down the 2nd XV within the leagues!)
  • The Club as a whole seeks to grow in terms of members and stature! 

Their Season So Far…

It’s been a difficult start to the season for their 1stXV, as they see themselves sitting bottom in National 2 North and in a relegation position.

They knew it was always going to be a difficult season, having finished 9th in the league last year, and the fact that they didn’t really strengthen their squad during the summer months perhaps didn’t help matters! As Huddersfield Chairman of Rugby, Paul Sharrock, told E4R,

‘This is a very tight league that contains 6 or 7 very competitive sides! We always knew it was going to be tight, but our aim is to reach 60 points and hopefully if we achieve that we will also survive relegation!’

It sounds like a fantastic league to be involved in and we wish the guys well with the remainder of the season!

Meet the Teams:

Huddersfield RUFC field 3 senior teams most Saturdays.

The 1st XV, as mentioned above, play in National 2 North.

The 2nd XV, also known as the Falcons, are a fantastic side who went unbeaten during 2014/15 season, and act as a great development pathway for academy and university players. They train and enjoy the same sessions with the 1st’s.

The 3rd XV, or A Team, play in the Yorkshire Merit League Division One, and having been promoted twice in the last three seasons, are only 2 leagues behind the 2nd’s.  They also went undefeated last season.

The Academy [U19]

The Academy also adds to the development pathway and has regularly produced players for all the club’s 3 senior sides

This is a club that offers all levels of rugby through their 4 teams and who welcome new players of all abilities! It’s really great to see.

Juniors

In terms of age-group rugby, Huddersfield RUFC can be seen as the founders.

They were the first Club to implement a junior structure back in 1969 and they have a brilliant legacy of players excelling through their junior ranks and making the successful transition into their 1st XV.

The Club boasts an overall number of around 250 juniors! Their many knowledgeable and CRB-checked coaches run every age group from U6’s up to U17’s and provide the kids’ with coaching of the highest possible quality!

Club Progression:

Chairman of Rugby, Paul Sharrock, told us that, ‘nearly 20 years ago the Club only had one pitch!’

Following the sale of their old grounds and some beneficial lottery grants, the Club moved to Lockwood Park in 1997 where it has created, not only a multi-sports complex (including: Rugby, Hockey, Bowling, Squash, Road Running and Snooker), but also an effective business comprising of a property rental portfolio as well as conferencing and banqueting facilities.

It's a great complex, which is brilliant for the local community.

However, every club is dependent upon its volunteers and Huddersfield RUFC is no different. It has retained its honorary officers (President, Chairman, Treasurer Secretary etc.) as well as it's sub committee Chairpersons for Rugby, Grounds, Property and associated sports, to work closely with Stuart Leach, the Clubs General Manager, to ensure the overall management of this sporting complex continues to work well and progresses even further.

It’s a fantastic off-field model that Huddersfield RUFC has created and one that many other clubs, we’re sure, can learn from!

Competition With Rugby League

Huddersfield is very much a, “Rugby” town. As well as Huddersfield Giants Super League team, there also exists 8 or 9 amateur rugby league clubs, which obviously provide huge competition to Huddersfield RUFC in terms of players, supporters and sponsors!

Due to this conflict of sports teams within the town, financial burdens are created through the clash of fixtures. Less supporters’ means less revenue generated through the gates and other areas like the bar!

Grassroots Grievances

Although the Club is healthy in terms of playing numbers, Paul said that there exists a large drop off of players from 16-18, ‘often due to work or educational commitments!’

Therefore, he believes that the way in which a Club markets itself is extremely important in order to attract new players or retain current players.

It’s an area that many Clubs have problems with but as Paul said, ‘enjoyment is key!’ If you can keep players of this age interested in the game and they still enjoy the games and training then that’s half the battle!

Huddersfield RUFC are a forward-thinking club that promote all levels of the game through their 4 senior teams and active and well-run age grade. We wish them all luck with the remainder of the season!  


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