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#21 RSN

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 09:44 PM

I agree with more or less everything you say here Mike. I am speaking now not as a Director of Barrow RFC but as a grandparent of a rugby league mad youngster. The local junior game (up to and including under 16s) is struggling for numbers and that needs to be addressed somehow and it needs to be addressed very quickly in my opinion.
Already during 2012 Hawcoat Storm have declined to join the U12 and U14 levels, Walney have dropped out of the U14 level until at least next March and other sides at all levels are calling off matches due to lack of numbers. And all this from a not very strong base in terms of numbers to start with.
This season just 6 teams are playing at U12s, 8 at U14s (now less Walney who are in limbo until March 2013), and U16s. In the U14s league Barrow Island field two teams so just six clubs are now competing at that level.
Even in the schools the situation is no better - just recently St Bernards Year 8 side was given a walkover in the local schools cup as the Academy (North and South combined I believe) couldn't raise a team.
This situation bothers me greatly as we are building the future of the sport in our region on sand and unless we can increase numbers more and more kids will turn to kiss ball where they will get a match every week.
I have no idea what the anwser to this problem is and I am absolutely certain that everybody involved at junior level is doing their utmost to increase numbers but the stark reality is that we are declining rather than growing.


The academy are absolutely shocking at fielding sports teams, it isn't just RL to be fair. At St Bernards the teachers are generally quite good at getting people to play, they got around 30 people giving it ago in year 7 as they got moet of the football lads playing and said there isn't a reason you shouldn't give it a try. The numbers dropped getting to 15 and 16 but never got to the point where we couldn't field a team of 17.
Maybe the council should get tighter on sports teams and get as many people playing as possible, fair enough if they don't like it but at least give it a go. Regarding the ameteur sides I think the best way to get the numbers up is through schools, make the game sound appealing as possible its the best way too get kids into the game. The leagues can be very unbalanced also which can be a problem, getting absolutely hammered every week by bigger and better players will lead to people dropping out which doesn't help. Maybe a draft system could be put in to try and balance it out? More competitive games also leads to a higher standard, plus it would stop all the best players to join one club which doesn't help anyone. Another thing which I think could help is advertising the club more in schools and getting the club across too the kids. Maybe players doing training sessions, free tickets given away and more posters being put around school. The club should be putting a lot of drive into schools as at the end of the day they are going to be where our fans and players come from in the future. Even though St Bernards were good at getting kids playing, their wasn't much advertisement of a pro rl club in the area. That's one improvement we could try and make an improvement on.

These are only ideas I guess to try and help. As I say the kids are the future of the club in many aspects, but it is a difficult task to get them involved.

#22 K.B

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 11:10 AM

All schools should be able to field a team in most sports, and definitly in main stream sports, from my experience the thing that prevents this is lack of effort from PE teachers or red tape imposed by the head. Schools do not need to have a single rugby player in the year group or even someone interested in the sport, but a PE staff who is committed to inspiring their students to try the activity. Then it depends on their PE lessons & training sessions being fun enough to make pupils want to play in a game. Where you have a teacher who cares and is really keen you will also find a team.
Maybe the clubs, Barrow and Amatuer, should look to work with teachers by offering coaching support (as how many are qualified and confident in coaching rugby league) free tickets to games - maybe even guest of the board at Barrow Game? Then speak to head techers to sell the benefits of the school playing fixtures - what this offers the children and how it marries up with the schools own aims to offer extra curricular activities.
Time spent by coaches working with kids in schools could be easily wasted if further rugby in the school is simply 'offered' rather than 'driven' by the school and staff.

#23 Dibble

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 11:41 AM

It is the greed of Super League Clubs that is strangling the game at all levels,they only care about themselves and nothing else!
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#24 Griff

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 11:51 AM

It is the greed of Super League Clubs that is strangling the game at all levels,they only care about themselves and nothing else!


What is ? :blink:

To be fair, I'd expect individual clubs to look after their own interests - indeed, the directors have an obligation to do so. As regards bringing kids into the game, that's the RFL's job as a governing body and the fact is that development is pitifully underfunded.
"We'll sell you a seat .... but you'll only need the edge of it!"

#25 wiganlad

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 01:36 PM

Totally agree with the points raised wrt junior rugby. a strong junior scene can only be beneficial to barrow rugby however it is not an easy fix to increase player numbers/improve playing standards
One change that could be done is to revert back to summer rugby (at least for the younger teams). It doesn't make sense that kids from six years upwards are having to play on soft wet pitches, in cold weather when only a year ago they were playing summer rugby. The return to winter rugby means that kids are having to train either inside or on floodlight facilities where it is virtually impossible to develop tackling techniques etc. in addition this increases the cost to the player/club due to having to pay for training facilities and increased workload for the small number of volunteers trying to get pitches playable during the wet winter months.




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