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'Expansion' of the heartlands


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One point I would like to make is that I think the word 'heartland' has become toxic and I'd like to see it used less and less. 

What should be used as a positive, is often used negatively to bash some people. 

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2 hours ago, Newcastle Thunder said:

Our area stretches from Alnwick in the North down to Catterick in the South, within this area we have 15 community clubs that run 54 teams and feed into our development programmes 

We would now class the North East as part of the heartlands

Although a small gap and technically North Yorkshire Richmond and across the Dale's could have 1 team potentially based in Bedale or Ripon but I can't see much more coverage in that area. We haven't yet tapped into Ripon as an area but there could be an odd player or too. However Thunder are doing a great job with the North East and it definitely helps with regional identity, keep up the great work! 

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16 hours ago, Tommygilf said:

Even if that was the case for their success (which it isn't), the are lots of Leeds people in Leeds, or wakey people in wakey, we don't sell out though?

And time would have told if the figures at Toronto went up or even down once the hype had settled down.

Carlsberg don't do Soldiers, but if they did, they would probably be Brits.

http://www.pitchero....hornemarauders/

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1 hour ago, JM2010 said:

I haven't omitted it. I was just suggesting a strategy which I think would work if these people and finding were in place

Ok. This wasn’t a sleight on what you’ve put down mate but just a reality.  Many clubs have development related people but that dedication doesn’t seem to be a prerequisite of the role.  Pay peanuts and all that.

A prime example is Bastion, when he was at Bradford.  John s very simplistic but his key strength is determination to develop players.  He cares.  As good as London Broncos strategy is on paper, imo the inclusion of a John Bastian type guy would have produced a lot more quality players than it has done.

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1 hour ago, Dave T said:

One point I would like to make is that I think the word 'heartland' has become toxic and I'd like to see it used less and less. 

What should be used as a positive, is often used negatively to bash some people. 

Totally agree, 

 

5 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

Not really relevant though is it.

Not now!!!

Carlsberg don't do Soldiers, but if they did, they would probably be Brits.

http://www.pitchero....hornemarauders/

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3 hours ago, Newcastle Thunder said:

Our area stretches from Alnwick in the North down to Catterick in the South, within this area we have 15 community clubs that run 54 teams and feed into our development programmes 

We would now class the North East as part of the heartlands

Didn`t Cramlington Rockets win "Community Club of the Year"?

Do NE community clubs have their own clubhouses and facilities?

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16 hours ago, Tommygilf said:

Would like to hear some thoughts on this. I don't think its just as simple a case of "union has more money".

Decades of head start is part of it. Amateur RL was almost dead by the early 1970s. The longstanding ARL clubs - Millom, Underbank etc. do have facilities because they've been around a long time.

Fundamental part of it is that RL is too hard for most people to play. A club might just be a bunch of blokes in their twenties, plus some committee members.  That doesn't generate the kind of revenue that let's you buy some land, build a clubhouse etc. If you compare with say cricket, or hockey, where I know people playing well into their fifties, you are tapping into a much wealthier set of people.

I do think culture of the sport is a factor too. Plenty of amateur RL clubs in the north when I was playing were not the kind of set-ups where you wanted to have a drink with the opposition after the match. It was much more get out of there fast while you still have some remaining body parts.

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17 hours ago, Marauder said:

Lot of ex-pats in Toronto.

As a Wolfpack season ticket holder:

Ex-pats explain some of the early crowd but doesn't begin to account for how the Toronto fan base grew over three seasons. It took a lot more effort than just appealing to ageing Brits.

Some ex-pats (I'm one myself, but prefer to be called an immigrant), some union fans, quite a few fans of rugby sevens, which is popular in Canada, some any-sport-is-good fans, and a fair amount of cross-pollination from Toronto FC, whose ground is a few hundred yards away. (Our cheering section are all also FC fans.)

Add to that, the stadium is located right in the middle of a rapidly growing community of young people, lots of pubs, looking for fun things to do in summer, and they bring their friends, who bring their friends.

Crowd grew by word of mouth, as going to a Wolfpack game became a cool thing to do. Wolfpack always understood they are in the entertainment business, and a home game had to be a completely entertaining afternoon out for people who'd never seen a game of rugby in their lives. And a very popular beer garden where all the crafties brought their best stuff. Personally, I brought in six or seven new season ticket holders who had no previous interest in the sport.

Would an approach like this work in any of the expansion spots you're thinking about?

 

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1 hour ago, unapologetic pedant said:

Didn`t Cramlington Rockets win "Community Club of the Year"?

Do NE community clubs have their own clubhouses and facilities?

Cramlington Rockets won Community Club of the year in 2017 and I believe they used the award that came with it to help set up a new club Alnwick Bears.

None of the NE community clubs have their own clubhouse and facilities, mainly using RU and school facilities. For example my 2 boys play for Whitley Bay Barbarians who's boy section play out of North Shields RFC and girls section play out of Seghill RFC, and Cramlington Rockets play out of Cramlington Learning Village. 

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22 hours ago, JM2010 said:

How many community clubs do you think the North East could accommodate?

The North East is the perfect demographic for RL to continue to grow

we have further plans for new community clubs in areas like Sunderland and Middlesbrough but we also want to grow the current 15 clubs to make sure everyone has strong junior set ups 

There’s now over 80 schools across the region who get rugby league coaching and that will continue to rise 

all in all we have just over 1,300 player registered and playing at community clubs and our aim is to grow that by 5% a year 

 

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4 minutes ago, Newcastle Thunder said:

The North East is the perfect demographic for RL to continue to grow

we have further plans for new community clubs in areas like Sunderland and Middlesbrough but we also want to grow the current 15 clubs to make sure everyone has strong junior set ups 

There’s now over 80 schools across the region who get rugby league coaching and that will continue to rise 

all in all we have just over 1,300 player registered and playing at community clubs and our aim is to grow that by 5% a year 

 

That is truly fantastic and all who have contributed and worked towards it deserves all the credit available , in fact I'd say the RFL and the sport in general need to look at it as an example of how to build a ' heartland ' 

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22 hours ago, JonM said:

Decades of head start is part of it. Amateur RL was almost dead by the early 1970s. The longstanding ARL clubs - Millom, Underbank etc. do have facilities because they've been around a long time.

Fundamental part of it is that RL is too hard for most people to play. A club might just be a bunch of blokes in their twenties, plus some committee members.  That doesn't generate the kind of revenue that let's you buy some land, build a clubhouse etc. If you compare with say cricket, or hockey, where I know people playing well into their fifties, you are tapping into a much wealthier set of people.

I do think culture of the sport is a factor too. Plenty of amateur RL clubs in the north when I was playing were not the kind of set-ups where you wanted to have a drink with the opposition after the match. It was much more get out of there fast while you still have some remaining body parts.

I agree with regards to the culture of some, maybe many.

My son found that, played RU and joined a well known club to try RL... but just found the whole  camaraderie, social aspects, and lack of touring totally alien to him... he is a very very sociable guy. He stuck it for a while but when he went to university stuck with RU... loads of choice of clubs that wanted him to play.,, no RL clubs easy to travel too.

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22 hours ago, JonM said:

Decades of head start is part of it. Amateur RL was almost dead by the early 1970s. The longstanding ARL clubs - Millom, Underbank etc. do have facilities because they've been around a long time.

Fundamental part of it is that RL is too hard for most people to play. A club might just be a bunch of blokes in their twenties, plus some committee members.  That doesn't generate the kind of revenue that let's you buy some land, build a clubhouse etc. If you compare with say cricket, or hockey, where I know people playing well into their fifties, you are tapping into a much wealthier set of people.

I do think culture of the sport is a factor too. Plenty of amateur RL clubs in the north when I was playing were not the kind of set-ups where you wanted to have a drink with the opposition after the match. It was much more get out of there fast while you still have some remaining body parts.

I think thats fair enough and matches my experience fairly well. 

I suppose League needs to take advantage of stuff like the social impact report and seek funding other sports get privately from other government/charitable sources.

In such a scenario though I think the Amateur game needs a bit more centralisation so that clubs aren't reliant on volunteers to do all this off field work. I'd look at the old service area/council style divisions to form a basis for this organisation.

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Unfortunately the demographics don't help either...

Mentioned by son before, although now retired from playing he continues to be involved with local club.

They have many ex players that run business that contribute to the club.... in various forms.  Plus those not running business tend to be in high income jobs and they also contribute in the various fund raising activities/events.

Also a culture aspects too maybe, as ex players seem to keep involvement to a greater extent.

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1 minute ago, redjonn said:

Unfortunately the demographics don't help either...

Mentioned by son before, although now retired from playing he continues to be involved with local club.

They have many ex players that run business that contribute to the club.... in various forms.  Plus those not running business tend to be in high income jobs and they also contribute in the various fund raising activities/events.

Also a culture aspects too maybe, as ex players seem to keep involvement to a greater extent.

Also true. Both of the two (now 1) RU clubs in Wakefield were founded by old boys of the grammar school and get significant continued involvement from them through players and old boys. Plenty of relative wealth about.

I don't think its all down to that though, although thats clearly a big factor.

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On 24/07/2020 at 13:50, NERugbyDad said:

Cramlington Rockets won Community Club of the year in 2017 and I believe they used the award that came with it to help set up a new club Alnwick Bears.

None of the NE community clubs have their own clubhouse and facilities, mainly using RU and school facilities. For example my 2 boys play for Whitley Bay Barbarians who's boy section play out of North Shields RFC and girls section play out of Seghill RFC, and Cramlington Rockets play out of Cramlington Learning Village. 

There was a thread a while back about RL and seaside towns. I nearly posted something about Whitley Bay having seen pictures of some of their players training on the beach. All looked very pleasant.

Also saw pictures of the visit by the Toowoomba girls to the area. Think there was a return trip down under planned. Suppose that must have been put back indefinitely now.

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22 hours ago, Tommygilf said:

I think thats fair enough and matches my experience fairly well. 

I suppose League needs to take advantage of stuff like the social impact report and seek funding other sports get privately from other government/charitable sources.

In such a scenario though I think the Amateur game needs a bit more centralisation so that clubs aren't reliant on volunteers to do all this off field work. I'd look at the old service area/council style divisions to form a basis for this organisation.

We had district league's that did a decent job without funding, it was the first point of contact for a new club, you got to talk face to face with a human and gain first hand experience for other clubs to help you on the way,  I suppose it helped back then because you didn't have so many boxes to tick or loops to jump through, 

Carlsberg don't do Soldiers, but if they did, they would probably be Brits.

http://www.pitchero....hornemarauders/

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I remember my couple of seasons playing RU after moving from the heartlands. I cant say I enjoyed the game much but can certainly relate to the posts about it being more welcoming especially when playing away matches. I remember my first couple of away matches and my opposite inside centre came up to me in the clubhouse afterwards and made a big point of buying me a drink and going out of his way to chat to me. I probably came across as a right grumpy sod because I found it that strange. After a few games I realised it was the norm but it just felt completely alien to me and I never came across that in RL. Rugby League is generally pretty ruthless from an early age and a win at all costs mentality, I never got that feeling in RU.

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24 minutes ago, Damien said:

I remember my couple of seasons playing RU after moving from the heartlands. I cant say I enjoyed the game much but can certainly relate to the posts about it being more welcoming especially when playing away matches. I remember my first couple of away matches and my opposite inside centre came up to me in the clubhouse afterwards and made a big point of buying me a drink and going out of his way to chat to me. I probably came across as a right grumpy sod because I found it that strange. After a few games I realised it was the norm but it just felt completely alien to me and I never came across that in RL. Rugby League is generally pretty ruthless from an early age and a win at all costs mentality, I never got that feeling in RU.

I guess part of that is traditionally for a lot of clubs games where organised between clubs as distinct from being in a league. Only a knock out cup competitions that wasn't.   Made it a much more social pastime. 

Touring and friendly games are still organised based on past contacts as well as the league structure that is much stronger today.

I also found it much more welcoming as a parent. People going out their way to engage and get you involved in events and of course fund raising.

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Hemel Stags been around 35 years, have long lease, have a club house open 7 days a week. two pitches,  astro 9 a side pitch, and a very strong lottery 1,800 members. Strong junior set up. This does not mean it can automatically go to the next step as they found out. But they are still classed as an expansion club.

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10 hours ago, unapologetic pedant said:

There was a thread a while back about RL and seaside towns. I nearly posted something about Whitley Bay having seen pictures of some of their players training on the beach. All looked very pleasant.

Also saw pictures of the visit by the Toowoomba girls to the area. Think there was a return trip down under planned. Suppose that must have been put back indefinitely now.

Yeah most years they end up having a session down on the beach with the full boys and girls section together. Always a bit of fun and a good laugh. 

The girls section were supposed to be off down under this year after saving up for it for 2 years, haven't heard what's happening with that now.

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34 minutes ago, newbe said:

Hemel Stags been around 35 years, have long lease, have a club house open 7 days a week. two pitches,  astro 9 a side pitch, and a very strong lottery 1,800 members. Strong junior set up. This does not mean it can automatically go to the next step as they found out. But they are still classed as an expansion club.

If we could have hundreds of hemel stags size clubs all over the country the game would be immeasurably stronger

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The idea of expansion of our great game has been a dream for the 60 years I have been watching our great game. Sadly it hasn't happened. Justifying this argument where are Scarborough, Mansfield, Kent, Chorley, Carlisle, etc. they are all no longer playing semi-professional rugby never mind professional rugby.

Newcastle is an exception. They have a wealthy chairman who funds both the RU and RL sides.  SL now has all the money strings and they are only concerned about self and the rest will either struggle on a little bit longer or go bust.

Looking at the amateur game, many cubs had two and some had three teams, now some struggle to field one side! The major cause I feel is summer rugby. Players in summer have too many other things to do but during winter there are fewer distractions. Another causal factor in the reduction of players is the demise of RL in the schools for whatever reason.

To sort it out is a massive task of the RL but sadly they will continue to bury their heads in the sand until all that exists is SL That is until Sky pulls the plug!

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On 25/07/2020 at 13:19, Tommygilf said:

I think thats fair enough and matches my experience fairly well. 

I suppose League needs to take advantage of stuff like the social impact report and seek funding other sports get privately from other government/charitable sources.

In such a scenario though I think the Amateur game needs a bit more centralisation so that clubs aren't reliant on volunteers to do all this off field work. I'd look at the old service area/council style divisions to form a basis for this organisation.

The service areas were run by volunteers in Humberside.  Alan Parker worked tirelessly.  I don’t know how he did it.

I agree entirely with the social impact report, especially as Hull was one of the places used.  Clubs will still require volunteers in a big way though.  I doubt that will, or can ever change.

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