12:00pm Friday 31st August 2001
THE Malvern RFC Youth Development Section will be celebrating the start of its tenth anniversary season with a Registration Day held at its new clubhouse in Spring Lane, Malvern Link tomorrow (Saturday) from noon to 2.30pm.
This year the Youth Section will have a near full complement of teams to cater for children of both sexes aged seven to 17 years. Not only that, but at long last the final link has been made to assist the older children with a reliable and safe route to the senior playing side of the club.
From the start of September, boys who become 17 years old during the season will be given the chance to play senior rugby for the Malvern RFC Development Squad, while the Under 17 girls will be free to join the "Angels", Malvern's very own senior women's rugby squad.
This all seems a far cry from the time in September 1991 when Terry Fleming, Mike Fray and Dave Sanderson started the whole thing off. In those far-away days, the section comprised of the three coaches, a regular turn-out of sixteen 9 to 11 year olds, a bag of a dozen rugby balls and set of over-sized, hand-me-down shirts "donated" by the Malvern 1st XV.
Apart for a shortage of playing shirts that still troubles some of the present day youth rugby squads, the Malvern RFC Youth Development Section blossomed into a big organisation, catering for the rugby needs and well being of a 160 children for 35 weeks of the year. And if the pre-season predictions prove correct, the membership should top 220 by the end of the anniversary year, making the Malvern RFC Youth Development Section one of the biggest youth sport outlets west of the River Severn!
So what is the secret behind the success of the Malvern RFC Youth Development Section?
Firstly there is the dedication of the twenty RFU qualified youth rugby coaches, the team managers and the happy gang of parent helpers who turn-out each week to help youngsters to become better sportsman and women regardless of the children's age, gender, ethnic background or disability.
Without this dedicated band of men and women to help the children to develop an understanding of rugby football in a safe and controlled environment, there would be no youth rugby played in Malvern, in our local primary schools or in some cases, even in our local secondary schools!
It also helps to have a forward thinking senior management team in the club who are not afraid to boldly invest money and resources to produce quality rugby players for the future. Already this investment has paid-off with five former youth section members playing regularly for the Malvern 1st and 2nd XV teams and another joining a premiership club in the near future.
By the end of the tenth anniversary season at least another 12 youngsters will have the chance to join the senior rugby sides followed by another 15 players in 2002 and many, many more thereafter.
So if you have a budding rugby player or sports fanatic in the family who wants to try something new, then send them down to Spring Lane this weekend to register tomorrow (Saturday) and for training on Sunday from 10am for all age groups.
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