Right, so picture this; Someone suggests that you join the local rugby club…but you don’t play rugby..? What could you possibly get out of joining a rugby club if you don’t play rugby? There’s so much more to a grassroots rugby club than simply playing the game! Allow me to elaborate friends.
Grassroots clubs are no longer sustainable, simply in the form of a rugby club but that’s not necessarily a bad thing! Clubs have had to think on their feet, branch out and adopt a ‘business brain,’ in order to stay in the game.
So why get involved with your local rugby club?
Let’s start with the social side of any rugby club. The bar.
Ok, so you don’t have to down jugs of ale, grow a beard that has its own ecosystem, and take part in tuneless chanting, to be part of the social side of a rugby club.
Grassroots rugby clubs now support their income with various events throughout the season (and off season too), which you’ll get to attend by joining the club. What’s more your membership will probably go towards the maintenance of the building and the utilities. Being a member will allow you to use the club for functions at a reduced rate, and by hosting your event (birthday celebrations etc), you will be greatly contributing to the revenue taken over the bar.
Secondly, rugby clubs are often at the heart of a community. I was recently made aware of a young lad, whose older brother played rugby at my club. The youngster had a rare brain tumor that only Protontherapy in the USA would help. Within hours, a group from the club met up and started planning ways of helping raise funds for him, and with the help of the local community and another local grassroots rugby club, the money was raised in no time at all!
Everyone had a great time at the events organised, and we were kept informed of the lads progress via the club website and Facebook pages. It was a heartwarming event, and one that is remembered through photos and stories that are still recalled.
So, grassroots clubs bring people together – sport has always had its participants and also its spectators. Those who can’t play, but follow the sport are just as important. We all enjoy being cheered from the sidelines, seeing the supporters in the club’s colours, shouting the names of the players in a tense game, there’s not better feeling.
Another great reason for joining a club is the contribution you could provide to the running of it, as well as learning how a business-like club works. Those valuable lessons can easily be transferred to the workplace.
My own rugby club hosts tennis, Cricket, Crossfit, Group Fitness Classes, Toddler Rugby (Ruggerbugs), Bridge, Drama classes for kids, plus fantastic events every couple of months like Music Quiz Night, Comedy & Curry night, various Tribute events, Fashion shows and many Charity nights! As a member, I’m able to attend all at a reduced rate. Great entertainment, on my doorstep, and I know my money is going to a good cause – the upkeep of the club!
The club also puts on great events for children, with the invitation also extended to the local primary schools. They love the annual Halloween party, and it’s a safe environment for the kids, and introduces them to the club with the hope that they may want to join too.
So next time you drive past a clubhouse, have a think about the work that goes on behind simply the pitches and posts. There is more to a rugby club than simply rugby...it will have a history, an unwavering and unpaid workforce, and it will welcome you warmly as a member, and no doubt inundate you with information about endless events that you can attend.
I found this quote, and I think it sums up everything about Grassroots clubs...