Posted 05 July 2012 - 09:09 PM
Sebastian Vermaat has done a great job in Bamberg and has 30 plus people turning up each week! Cook Islander Ben Puna is looking to develop a small group in Ingolstadt where he lives. Also Andi Harp who has played Rugby League for Lincoln University when he studied there,is looking to develop the game in the Munich area. This is mission impossible as we have been trying for 4 years to get a pitch, but keep getting knocked back. Soccer is about the only sport that exists here and even Rugby Union struggles to get a pitch at all in the city. And the city doesnt understand that Rugby League is not Rugby Union which doesnt help.
A friend of mine,Peter Smutna who is at the Bavarian Rugby Union has helped put the word out about Rugby League in Summer and 3 Union clubs have contacted me (Würzburg, Coburg and Nuremberg/Amberg). We aim to push League in Summer especially for next summer via 5 or so )s comps from mid June through to end of August. The Czech Rugby League via Andy Mulhall have been a great help with Bayern bordering a large section of the Czech Republic. Bamberg Uni are due to play a Czech domestic team in a couple of weeks. We will have a mix of students mainly from Bamberg and others new to any form of Rugby as well as low level Union guys that want to play League. Next week we also will run a 9s comp in Bamberg.
Posted 06 July 2012 - 02:35 AM
Posted 07 July 2012 - 07:36 PM
Posted 11 July 2012 - 08:49 PM
Posted 13 July 2012 - 07:52 PM
The people on the ground generally find out what works in each area through trial and error.
Posted 16 July 2012 - 07:07 PM
I dont understand why you dont focus on juniors who could grow to be organic RL players rather than RU converts who youre not targeting... But are targetting according to the OP?
The problem is myself and others work Full Time so its difficult to do any schools work. Also its very difficult to get schools to become involved as Soccer has such a strong grip. The smaller towns are more open for other sports like Bamberg (Basketball), Heidelberg (Rugby Union), Flensburg (Handball) though for me currently living in Munich we cant even get a pitch despite writing and meeting many people. I did try the International School but the problem is the kids often only stay a year or so and move on so you dont build anything and its in the middle of nowhere which doesnt help.
The Development officer of RL Deutschland who gets payed has never done any proper schools work and really has caused more problems than done anything good. He is a Union guy who seems to think any Development is to chase Union guys to play League. I tried to reason with him and the RLEF (who pay him) that this is not development and will see Germany struggle to have any real foundation. It hurts to hear Union players who played for Germany this year saying "League is ###### and you dont even need to play in any domestic comp to play for the National team!" just after playing for their country. The RLEF really need to concentrate on proper development domestically and not focus so much effort on Internationals. Germany have no domestic League but play in the Euro Shield. The RLEF probably use the fact that Germany play in the Euro Shield to get extra cash from the EU or Sponsors because of the power "Germany" as a Nation has.
The other problem is the power of Soccer in Germany especially the big cities like Munich, Hamburg, Frankfurt. Soccer clubs refuse to share their pitches and they have the money to pay the high rents that exist in some cases. Many Union clubs as well as other Sports like Touch Rugby have struggled for years to get a pitch and when they do its either poor Standard or they cant train and play on the same pitch! The only town really in Germany which has proper Rugby pitches that are only for Rugby (Union) is Heidelberg. And Union doesnt like their pitches being used for League! The recent German Internationals held in Heidelberg nearly got cancelled at the last minute due to the German Rugby Union trying to persuade Town Officials that League should not be played on Union pitches!
I have tried to get join a Sports Club and set up a Rugby League Sub Section but the Soccer Sections dont want us as they dont want to share there pitches! Also Towns Sports Sections refuse to understand/accept that Rugby League is not Union. They just view Rugby as one despite me trying to say Hockey and Eishockey (Ice Hockey) have the same name but are different sports. The Union clubs in Munich for example struggle as well. One plays in the English Garden but are not allowed to build any permanent Structures and that includes Posts! So they have to set up and take them down after every match and often have to use Duct tape to keep things together. The other Union team train in the East of the city on Wednesday in the South on Fridays and play on another pitch on the weekend! So its very difficult to really build anything in many places.
Also under German law you cant just setup a club but need a minimum of 7 Board members for a club to look to take the steps of becoming a legal body. It has to have its constitution and all how it operates looked at and the club must go to the courts to register. This often costs money and time. If you are not registered then you are not insured. The RLEF since Danny Kazandjian took over has really struggled to understand and accept that how things work in Germany is not like the UK where its fairly easy just to setup a club.
I have a team based at Bamberg Uni and have some friends nearby that play Union and can get a team together. Also I have made contact with the Czechs as Bamberg is not too far away (around 3 hours) and we hope to get Bamberg playing one of the Czech domestic clubs before the end of the year. The plan for next year is to run 3 or 4 9s events and have hopefully 4 teams playing that and then have a Bavarian XIII to play somebody like the Czech XIII, Poland or somebody. The Uni have sponsored the Rugby club and have given them use of a field (not in great shape but better than nothing!). I have also sent a message to Bedford Tigers as Bedford and Bamberg are twin towns and maybe Bedford can get a team across in 2013 with the help of the town etc. Hopefully I can build something around Bamberg and Nuremberg area and use the guys that finish their studies at bamberg to possibly push development elsewhere. But for me I do feel 9s comps featuring towns in the near of each other (about 1 hour) is the best way to go and build until they can put 13 a side teams out.
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