Active Families, Volunteering

Children playing rugby on a field.

Bourne Rugby Club Mini and Juniors boasts the fastest growth in the UK thanks to upskilling of volunteer coaches

Bourne Rugby Club, were one of the many organisations across Lincolnshire who benefited from a grant from Sport England’s Together Fund, distributed by Active Lincolnshire. The club received a grant of £4,500 to help support their mini and juniors sections.

Prior to Covid-19, Bourne Rugby Club had over 100 children playing every week. However, when the club restarted after the Pandemic, there were just 6 that returned.

As with many organisations across the UK post-covid, the Club started to grow again. The club applied for the Together Fund grant from Sport England, to support the growth and development of the club and enable them to continue to promote Rugby for all, making it accessible to all children in the local area.

Supporting more children to get involved

With the funding support, their aim was to achieve 120 children playing rugby every weekend and to accomplish this, they trained and upskilled 10 volunteers to deliver these sessions. The training courses varied from Kids First Tag, Kids First Contact up to England Rugby Coaching Award. Coaches also attended a ‘First Aid for Rugby’ Course in which medical professionals focused on Rugby related First Aid and emergency situations so that they were confident to deliver sessions in a safe environment. The coaches were also provided with rugby equipment, training kit and first aid kits.

To engage with the local community, the funding allowed Bourne Rugby Club to work with local schools and organisations, such as the Scouts and Guides, to promote Rugby, the Club and the benefits of getting involved and playing Rugby. This increased the number of active children around Bourne and introduced the sport to new audiences. The development of these key relationships in the town and local area continue to grow, and all are seeing the benefits for the next generation of children.

Keeping Costs Low

Bourne Rugby Club is fully volunteer led, with everyone giving up their free time to be able to deliver this service. The Club are determined to be the best in the local area and their goal continues to be making the sport accessible to children of all ages, keeping membership fees low and open to all.

Bourne Rugby Club Minis & Junior section now exceeds a membership of 115 players, and continues to grow, recently being recognised as one the of the fastest growing Mini and Junior Clubs in England by The Rugby Football Union. However, the Club do not want this to be at the detriment of the quality of coaching that they deliver to the children involved. The training provided to the volunteer coaches has meant this has created a solid and positive foundation for the high-quality sessions they provide.

The Together Fund has allowed them to keep membership fees low for parents, which is especially important in the current cost of living crisis, and has given them the chance to invest in kit so that every child involved is given this as part of their sign up. As soon as the children grow out of boots and kit, there are swap boxes available, which is a great environmentally friendly way of ensuring that everything is used as much as possible and doesn’t put any financial pressure on families, preventing their children from participating.

Bursaries have been created with the support of JJ Mac Ltd, a local business, and in 2023, several children were supported by this programme. The club’s aim for 2024 is to provide this support to another five children. Many other local businesses have come on board with support since as they have seen the benefits of making sport accessible to their town’s next generation.

Aaron Calvert, Chairperson of BRUFC Mini & Juniors Section commented:

“Bourne Rugby Club’s ethos is based on the core values of rugby – TREDS (Teamwork, Respect, Enjoyment, Discipline, Sportsmanship). The Together Fund has enabled us to continue our rapid growth whilst continuing to offer safe, fully inclusive and sustainable rugby coaching for kids in Bourne and the surrounding areas.
To be recently recognised by The Rugby Football Union (RFU) as the FASTEST GROWING Mini & Juniors in England is testament of the effort put in by all!”

Instilling these initiatives into the Club has meant it has become a positive and supportive community for all involved. The core values of Rugby are the ethos of this club and it runs through the heart and soul of the organisation.

Get Involved

Find out more about Bourne Mini and Juniors on their facebook group

or visit Bourne Rugby Club’s website.