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Coventry Bears announce plans for community clubs


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I am loving what the bears and Newcastle are doing, even west wales!

Unless I am miss-informed the RFL are failing these expansion areas greatly (I know west wales do not come under the RFL) there should be development officers based in each area supporting the development.

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https://www.coventry.gov.uk/news/article/3777/plans_announced_for_rugby_league_satellite_clubs_in_west_midlands?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=Orlo

I worked as a development officer (in Wales) at about the same time that Mick Hogan worked in Gateshead (as a D.O.). Our brief as to ''Raise awareness and encourage participation'' of/in Rugby Le

Well done Coventry for flying the West Midlands flag. Juniors are definitely the way to go and strong school links are the tried and tested method.    With Bassetlaw Bulldogs (In partnership wi

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Congratulations.

Conversion rate to senior rl is difficult,aswith all sports including union,cricket,tennis etc. I'm afraid after school,they tend to find wine,women and song! However,they tend to keep their interest,even if only as spectators,sponsors,admin etc.

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12 hours ago, yipyee said:

I am loving what the bears and Newcastle are doing, even west wales!

Unless I am miss-informed the RFL are failing these expansion areas greatly (I know west wales do not come under the RFL) there should be development officers based in each area supporting the development.

From what I gather the RFL are very supportive of the Bears in what they are doing. Despite what people say about Ralph Rimmer him and his team are well thought of at the clubs.

There is a pathway up to league 1 (and beyond) so funding for development officers in the midlands is something that would be a game changer. The RFL itself is not exactly flush with cash so I don't expect that to happen any time soon sadly. 

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4 hours ago, The Daddy said:

This pretty much confirms that the template used at Newcastle Thunder is way to develop a club, especially a big city/regional club 

Exactly. Now all we need to do is transfer this knowledge&know-how approach to the Sheffield/south Yorkshire region, Manchester/greater Manchester region and the Liverpool/Merseyside region to shore up the north.

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On 17/04/2021 at 11:51, OriginalMrC said:

From what I gather the RFL are very supportive of the Bears in what they are doing. Despite what people say about Ralph Rimmer him and his team are well thought of at the clubs.

There is a pathway up to league 1 (and beyond) so funding for development officers in the midlands is something that would be a game changer. The RFL itself is not exactly flush with cash so I don't expect that to happen any time soon sadly. 

Its poor though, you dont need to be flush with cash to fund £30-40k a year, its buttons.

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38 minutes ago, yipyee said:

Its poor though, you dont need to be flush with cash to fund £30-40k a year, its buttons.

£30-40k a year, multiplied by: how many places where you think this should be happening?

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3 hours ago, yipyee said:

Its poor though, you dont need to be flush with cash to fund £30-40k a year, its buttons.

 

2 hours ago, langpark said:

£30-40k a year, multiplied by: how many places where you think this should be happening?

I don't know lads, whether the RFL can afford to employ them, or whether there might be grant aid available, but if not I think the administration of every amateur league should have the item ''Development'' on the agenda at every league meeting.

Its just not enough for administrators to maintain the status quo. They must make time and expend some effort on growth.

Ask for volunteers to act in a development role, meet and make a plan and however meagre, start to move forward.

Then each season, we have an objective measure of growth.

This kind of recognition of their achievements, will encourage the development people to continue the work.

So first thing is to acknowledge the ''rightness'' of my second paragragh and get the subject on the agenda, at each meeting. Then get on with it.

If money becomes available later on, that's great but stop waiting for ''help''. 

 

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1 hour ago, fighting irish said:

 

I don't know lads, whether the RFL can afford to employ them, or whether there might be grant aid available, but if not I think the administration of every amateur league should have the item ''Development'' on the agenda at every league meeting.

Its just not enough for administrators to maintain the status quo. They must make time and expend some effort on growth.

Ask for volunteers to act in a development role, meet and make a plan and however meagre, start to move forward.

Then each season, we have an objective measure of growth.

This kind of recognition of their achievements, will encourage the development people to continue the work.

So first thing is to acknowledge the ''rightness'' of my second paragragh and get the subject on the agenda, at each meeting. Then get on with it.

If money becomes available later on, that's great but stop waiting for ''help''. 

 

Not saying you're wrong, but unless there's some "development framework" applied then leaving it up to volunteers is basically gambling as to whether it happens or not. I don't believe any league administrators (in any sport for the record... not just a rugby league thing) aren't interested in growing the game. But organising the fixtures and helping teams to grow are two different skillsets and not necessarily transferable.If there was a proper set of guidelines created by an NGB or regional GB then it might be more achievable. But for that to happen, the RFL would have to have a plan for what they want for the game - and that's the bit that's missing.

I look at the RFU's Inner Warrior campaign for getting more female players into the game vs the RFL's 21 by 21 programme and the difference is stark. The former has a lot of shared assets for clubs to use, encourages clubs to sign up to host events (so the volunteers do the bulk of the work) and the RFU helps them promote through their channels (map of events etc). The 21 by 21 (21,000 women and girls in England RL by 2021 if you're unfamiliar with it) is just an aim. Until you create some guidelines and branding around your plans, you're relying on people taking the initiative, which is very hard to do.

What Coventry have done is incredible and shows amazing vision - but that vision should really be coming from the top. If the RFL had a "whole game plan" along with various campaigns that made it easier for volunteers to spin up their own growth initiatives, you'd see faster growth in those targeted areas (targeted could be geographical or format of the game).

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5 hours ago, langpark said:

£30-40k a year, multiplied by: how many places where you think this should be happening?

2

That is small fry for an organisation with a multi million pound turnover

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11 minutes ago, yipyee said:

2

That is small fry for an organisation with a multi million pound turnover

Right. One in Coventry and one somewhere else. And why Coventry and not some other part of UK? (I'm just devil's advocating, but hooefully you get the point) 

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1 hour ago, zylya said:

Not saying you're wrong, but unless there's some "development framework" applied then leaving it up to volunteers is basically gambling as to whether it happens or not. I don't believe any league administrators (in any sport for the record... not just a rugby league thing) aren't interested in growing the game. But organising the fixtures and helping teams to grow are two different skillsets and not necessarily transferable.If there was a proper set of guidelines created by an NGB or regional GB then it might be more achievable. But for that to happen, the RFL would have to have a plan for what they want for the game - and that's the bit that's missing.

I look at the RFU's Inner Warrior campaign for getting more female players into the game vs the RFL's 21 by 21 programme and the difference is stark. The former has a lot of shared assets for clubs to use, encourages clubs to sign up to host events (so the volunteers do the bulk of the work) and the RFU helps them promote through their channels (map of events etc). The 21 by 21 (21,000 women and girls in England RL by 2021 if you're unfamiliar with it) is just an aim. Until you create some guidelines and branding around your plans, you're relying on people taking the initiative, which is very hard to do.

What Coventry have done is incredible and shows amazing vision - but that vision should really be coming from the top. If the RFL had a "whole game plan" along with various campaigns that made it easier for volunteers to spin up their own growth initiatives, you'd see faster growth in those targeted areas (targeted could be geographical or format of the game).

I find nothing to argue with here. Yes the RFL should be doing more. All i'm saying is that if they are not able or willing to get involved then the amateur administrations should grasp the nettle, rather than just shrugging their shoulders and complaining that nothing can be done. 

Having initiated the process I'm calling for, 40 years ago, in Wales and finding that there was no ''help'' to be had, we just got on with it. I know how hard it is, but I also know it can be done, even in the harshest, most hostile environments. I don't know if you've read any of my previous posts on this subject but I'm a long term advocate of modelling the success of Newcastle's administration (by asking Newcastle to write a ''how to'' guide) so that any volunteer effort is used in the most efficient way, maximising its results. A well written guide, should enable, empower and encourage volunteers to have a go. 

If you care to look at the history of the amateur clubs in this country you'll find that almost every one was formed by willing volunteers, hardly any were formed (or supported for that matter) by the governing body.

So to wind up, this process does work, it is responsible for the spread we've already got (especially and most successfully, in Newcastle) but the amateur game, isn't heavily involved in trying to unearth new volunteers and I think they should be.

I'm urging them to accept the job and get stuck in.

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3 minutes ago, fighting irish said:

I find nothing to argue with here. Yes the RFL should be doing more. All i'm saying is that if they are not able or willing to get involved then the amateur administrations should grasp the nettle, rather than just shrugging their shoulders and complaining that nothing can be done. 

Having initiated the process I'm calling for, 40 years ago, in Wales and finding that there was no ''help'' to be had, we just got on with it. I know how hard it is, but I also know it can be done, even in the harshest, most hostile environments. I don't know if you've read any of my previous posts on this subject but I'm a long term advocate of modelling the success of Newcastle's administration (by asking Newcastle to write a ''how to'' guide) so that any volunteer effort is used in the most efficient way, maximising its results. A well written guide, should enable, empower and encourage volunteers to have a go. 

If you care to look at the history of the amateur clubs in this country you'll find that almost every one was formed by willing volunteers, hardly any were formed (or supported for that matter) by the governing body.

So to wind up, this process does work, it is responsible for the spread we've already got (especially and most successfully, in Newcastle) but the amateur game, isn't heavily involved in trying to unearth new volunteers and I think they should be.

I'm urging them to accept the job and get stuck in.

Yes - agree with all of that, and I've been following your posts (I think it was you who wrote about a schools programme that focused on the teacher CPD opportunities rather than just delivering sessions) to help with some of the stuff I'm trying to do myself, as well as trying to read & follow what clubs are doing well.

You're right - almost every new club was founded by volunteers and I know, more than most, just how important they are to the growth of the sport. My point was more that if we wait for volunteers to take up the mantle, then the game may grow in a haphazard fashion. As I'm sure you've come across in your own experience - it's much easier to get things going when there are several clubs starting at the same time, as Coventry are doing so well with these satellite clubs, because you can play against each other.

If we rely on volunteers, then clubs may pop up in all sorts of areas, with no real focus - not that these clubs can't survive and thrive, just that it'd be easier if 6 new Midlands clubs were all getting started at the start time, as an example.

I also think that sharing of best practice is a key driver - so that club leaders can learn off of each other.

None of these are absolutely essential, but I think they'd go a long way towards improving the chances of any/all of these new clubs surviving.

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3 hours ago, langpark said:

Right. One in Coventry and one somewhere else. And why Coventry and not some other part of UK? (I'm just devil's advocating, but hooefully you get the point) 

I get what you are saying, why coventry? Well for me there should be a joined up plan say 5 years, Coventry are demonstrating installing a pyramid and a develipment officer FT would help embed that further whilst ensuring allignment to the RFL.

Another area is Newcastle. With funds that are not unlimited then a target approach to areas that are progessing would reap more rewards. 

Again a 5 year plan and then review with a view to moving the development officer/funding if targets are not met. 

Then either

A) the sport grows and can fund a new officer

B) the funding is moved to a more worthy area.

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7 minutes ago, OriginalMrC said:

Erdington Griffins! 

 

In a time when the game is contracting along the M62, Coventry are doing so much right it is crazy. If only central distribution had a direct link to community work? Great stuff by the Bears, the are playing an excellent long game. Hope it is a success.

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I bang on about DOs loads and I am with @fighting irish totally that DOs are desperately needed.. When they were in place in London when i was there it was what helped drive it. The volunteers at the clubs were great but the DOs just added that little something to help the volunteers during the week day basically.. 

The RU club i coach at and my son plays at has just employed a DO themselves.. this is a league 2 north club (4th tier) that is employing them to get more juniors involved... if a low division RU CLUB can afford one and see the sense in having one to increase income then you would think a governing body could fund it or help fund it.. 

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Thanks for the kind comments guys. I know that Alan and Debbie have been working really hard on this for some time now and for me having a another club in Birmingham is amazing news. This along with closer ties with clubs across the Midlands means that things are really moving in the right direction. Ultimately regular matches for junior players will help create players of the future. 

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5 minutes ago, OriginalMrC said:

Thanks for the kind comments guys. I know that Alan and Debbie have been working really hard on this for some time now and for me having a another club in Birmingham is amazing news. This along with closer ties with clubs across the Midlands means that things are really moving in the right direction. Ultimately regular matches for junior players will help create players of the future. 

Coventry are showing that when success does start to come on the field there is some backbone behind it. It is the only way unless you are putting crazy money in. What Coventry and Thunder are doing should be supported financially by central office - in the end that is what the governing body is aiming for right?

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3 minutes ago, Scubby said:

Coventry are showing that when success does start to come on the field there is some backbone behind it. It is the only way unless you are putting crazy money in. What Coventry and Thunder are doing should be supported financially by central office - in the end that is what the governing body is aiming for right?

Excellent work by both clubs. Although to be fair to the governing body, Cov have been supported in this initiative to the tune of £45k: https://www.coventrybears.com/blog/satellite-club-plans-announced

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