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Sam Armstrong

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About Sam Armstrong

  • Birthday 09/07/1964

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    Winwick, Cheshire
  1. Speaking from my own experiences with NW Counties 13-15s (and I'm pretty much sure it would have applied to 8-12s & 16-18s too) I can confirm that we were assisted very well by the RFL in a whole manner of different ways. With free stationary & cards for registrations etc, superb admin and marketing support for developing websites, posters and banners, help both with costs and volunteers for our own League's Finals Days and for our joint Lancashire Cup Finals where they assisted with costs for the venue etc.The individual Leagues put back into the game by putting on their own Finals Days, supplying medals and trophies to Cup & League winners (in the case of the 13-15s that League commitment alone equated to 12 trophies and 12 x 25 sets of uniquely designed & engraved winners medal each season), Presentation nights, the sponsoring of both the event and transport for the Wars of the Roses games (in conjunction with Charlie Bray & the Yorkshire Juniors) to name but a few. I believe, as I am no longer involved, that a great deal of money has recently been spent supplying new rugby balls to all teams/clubs registered with the League and this is just an assumption, but I wouldn't be in the least bit surprised if they are not supplying all the U14s Origin squads with their kits too. I personally could never fault the superb support we received from the RFL but, sadly, cannot say we ever received anything even remotely like that from BARLA. Just thought I'd set the record straight!!
  2. Oh you can guarantee the usual BARLA faces will turn up if there's even a sniff of a free buffet!!! Pity they can't show some positive support in the lead up to the event by helping promote it.
  3. Great concept and nice to see some really good early pro-active promotion of the game at younger age-groups! Good luck to all those involved!!!! Hope it proves to be the huge success it deserves to be and is well supported.
  4. Apologies, as mentioned in my post there was no offence intended but point accepted.
  5. I have often thought about the comparisons and, with the exception where someone is clearly meaning to cause offence it is invariably the actual manner in which it is delivered that causes the offence. Referring back to the original poster, they mentioned that the words "black" and "ginger" were interpreted differently and subsequently treated as such. Could both those terms, along with (content deleted by CKN) to name but a few (please understand that no offence was meant by using these two particular examples with the others as neither was deemed particularly offensive when some of us, now more enlightened people, were growing up) simply just be the very first distinguishing descriptor of a simple mind and not specifically be the part of the phrase meant as offensive ie "... that xxxx so & so" or that xxxx ****"? All are summing someone as a "so & so" or "****" it is, to me, that part which offends .... and yes, I get the "fat" one regularly but acknowledge that I am indeed bigger than the average guy so don't take too much offence.
  6. Good luck to everyone taking part and to those who are going along to cheer them on. I hope the weather stays kind and the day, as it usually is, is a huge success!!!
  7. But weren't BARLA meant to represent ALL the community/amateur game? Clearly not! By your own admission you seem to imply that it today, and henceforth, wishes to concentrate solely on Open Age and wash it's hands of the only expanding area of the game .... what unbelievable short-sightedness!!!! And you wonder why people consider BARLA to be losing it's fitness for purpose?? BARLA used to run both Open Age AND Y&J Meetings but eventually the latter just became a distant memory consigned to history. Perhaps, had they kept their ear to the ground, and listened to the discontent that was evident then they may have acted in good time to prevent it's disassociation from the future players of the game. Instead, as they continue to do to this day, they apathetically buried their heads in the ground whilst still misbelieving they have a major role to play in the future of the game. It would definitely appear that the more things change at BARLA the more it truly remains the same!!
  8. I think the lack of response to this and the 'What Should Be The Priority' thread indicates an increasing apathy in the community game .... no-one seems to have the drive/passion to do anything. Reading on here, and knowing Wilber, I do think that he could be the right person to revitalise BARLA or, if that is beyond saving, developing a new organisation to drive the game forward. I certainly hope so because, if not, the whole community game is on the same downwards trajectory as BARLA is currently on!!
  9. Crossing the I's? Sorry I couldn't resist!!!
  10. For me, the starting point has to be media presence, promotion of the amateur game and increased participation. Get more players enjoying decent levels of competition and make it something people actively want to be part of with a high level of media promotion. Give it some decent professional branding that appeals to all age-groups and get the word out so that others see it's something worth being part of. Increased participation will hopefully have a corresponding knock-on (no pun intended) that players will want to go and watch the game at a higher level than their own be that pro or semi-pro in an enjoyable and friendly family stadium/ground. Finally I would recommend that the RFL focus on the very youngest age-group in a 'catch them while they're young' exercise either by offering improved facilities and support for the grassroots clubs or by free tickets to schools/junior clubs to get the kids and their parents on to the terraces. I have avoided looking to lay the blame at any given parts' doorstep for failings but, with a strong amateur and/or professional governing body working in unison and positively supporting the game's heartland clubs then, I believe, further expansion into non-traditional areas will come but only if we work together with a shared aim. If we continue to just think that kids/adults will flock to the game without some increased media presence we are sadly deluding ourselves! Appreciate not everyone will agree and I also accept that I have a Y&J 'bias' but at least they are ideas and it gets the ball rolling!
  11. Terribly sad news to hear of Jackie Reid's passing, he was never anything but a true gentleman in all our dealings with him. Deepest condolences to his family.
  12. Terribly sad news about this dedicated & commited young man. My deep and sincerest condolences to his family, friends and team-mates at what must be a very very difficult & heartbreaking time.
  13. That was never true, quite the opposite in fact. The Youth & Junior game (with the greater number of teams and participants) only ever wanted to be treated with the same respect that the Open Age game was by BARLA. Those points were put to the BARLA Board in a presentation at West Yorkshire House but not a single thing was acted on and the Y&J game continued to be treated with disdain .... compounded by the atrocious attitude towards the various NW Counties leagues as the Board tried to 'put them in their place' by ceasing their membership on a fabricated technicality!! Sadly, for BARLA, this backfired on such a monumental scale that they came back cap in hand asking the Leagues to rejoin but by then irreparable damage had been done! As TaxiEgg says, there IS a place in the sport for a representative body for the amateur game but sadly the existing body, BARLA, is no longer fit for purpose. The game is screaming out for promotion to help increase participation but some are too busy feathering their own nests, looking towards the next trip abroad, to bother to do something about it. Unfortunately unless the right people, with the right amount of commitment and enthusiasm are found to lead ALL age groups of the sport then the whole amateur side of the game will start down the same slippery slope to oblivion that the current BARLA is on! BARLA either has to man up quickly or do the decent thing and stand aside!!!
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