Matt Elwell, former player, coach and Chairman of Woodrush, recently completed the RFU Leadership in Union initiative.
The course involved three residential weekends with the programme delivered by Ashridge Executive Education.
“I went with an open mind and have to say that the course itself and the content has had a deep impact on me personally, professionally and as a rugby volunteer,” Elwell said.
“It has been 100% delivered by John Neal and Ian Bell from Ashridge, both have rugby backgrounds with clubs at professional and amateur level.
“The three weekends have all been totally different in terms of content. Ultimately, as the future President of Worcestershire & Herefordshire, this course has given me new skills in listening, understanding, questioning, leadership and strategic planning to help make the Domestic Union stronger and build on the platform already there.
“It has been very challenging at times. You are often required to put yourself outside of the normal comfort zone and participate in difficult fact-finding exercises about yourself and others around you with a view to learning something that can help you develop your skills. The feedback is often instant and not always what you want to hear.
“We have met Nigel Melville of the RFU and Helen Weir of the Marks & Spencer and a RFU boards who have both kindly shared their journeys into leadership positions.
“It has also been very beneficial to work with so many other people from CBs around the country. It was interesting to listen to how other counties administer the game, the things that work well, challenges, changes and the reasons why. The candidates were from all sorts of backgrounds and roles which made the view point much broader.
It’s been a great networking opportunity and I have built some friendships that I’m sure will be fruitful in the long term.
I would also like to acknowledge the RFU’s role in delivering this course. I can only imagine how much money it must cost to put us through a world renown leading business school like Ashridge.
“How many other sport governing bodies are investing in grass roots volunteers ,like the RFU?”
Candidates wishing to take part in the next RFU Leadership in Union programme should contact Keith Skirving on 0781 032 1056.