SSE Community Rugby Campaign

As the new rugby season begins this weekend, so does the demand for things that helps any rugby club work well, such as training equipment, coaching resources, playing kit and lots more. In order to help with this, National Community Partner of the RFU, SSE, recently launched a new grassroots campaign at Percy Park RFC in the North East. SSE wants to know what your club needs and they will try and help you attain those goals.

The Rugby Blog caught up with campaign ambassadors: former Bath, England and Lions second rower Danny Grewcock and the former Newcastle Falcons, England and Lions winger John Bentley to discuss the project.

For both men it was a campaign that they jumped at taking part in, as grassroots rugby is where they started playing as children, working their way up through the ranks. Grewcock, who started out at Barkers Butts Rugby Club in Coventry, said: “All of the kids in the local area played rugby: they were all down there enjoying themselves every weekend. The junior section was backed up by a first team, second team, third team and the vets.

Everyone was involved. I went up through the ranks, from the colts team to the first team, who were playing in Midlands One. Without realizing what was going to happen in the future it laid a lot of foundations for me.”

Bentley spoke of how rugby is a learning tool, both on and off the pitch: “With all of the trouble that has happened around the country lately, rugby is a sport that still claims to have great discipline and great ideals about it. It’s an extension of parenting isn’t it? It’s delivering those messages.” Grewcock agrees with this and that from a community level “rugby’s a hugely important part of a lot of kid’s sports and hopefully a lot of kids lives.”

A big factor for John and Danny being involved in the campaign are the resources that SSE can provide for the rugby clubs at grassroots level, and not just on a short term basis. “The initiative that SSE have presented themselves to some of the local clubs is a fantastic idea to get young people back involved in sport,” said John. “SSE have a 3 year tie up with some of the lower leagues but they are going to roll out this initiative over 12 months.”

The feedback that clubs give SSE through the website will help them to build programmes that will support those clubs over the coming season. Plus with each questionnaire completed you get a 10% off voucher at RFU Direct and the chance to win tickets for an England International match in 2012.

Grewcock summed up why clubs should be taking part in the campaign: “For them [SSE] to give an open invite to what a club needs and how they can help them is brilliant and from the club’s point of view is absolutely perfect.”

SSE, a leading energy company and National Community Partner of the RFU, is launching a new grassroots club rugby campaign, backed by Danny Grewcock and John Bentley. Tell us what your rugby club needs at SSE Rugby to win 2012 England International tickets.

by Rachel Simmonite