North Midlands club Veseyans have been shortlisted in the National Rugby Awards.
The Streetly-based club are mong six clubs shortlisted in the Mini and Youth Section of the awards which will be held at Twickenham on September 1.
After a significant upgrade and refurbishment of the facilities at their Little Hardwick Road ground last year, Veseyans drew up a plan to ensure the club’s future longevity by running sustainable age group teams from Under-7s to Under-16s, plus Colts and senior teams.
A management team of volunteers put together an infrastructure for the development and growth of the Junior section which included training coaches, investment in new training equipment, branded club clothing to establish identity, additional kitchen staff and equipment to accommodate anticipated numbers, acquisition of a 17 seater ‘Veseyan branded’ minibus for use by all age groups and support outreach/satellite work with local schools.
The promotion and advertising of their recruitment campaign over the summer months saw stalls at six local school fetes, attendance at the Sutton Coldfield Community games, 2000 posters delivered locally announcing the ‘launch’ of Veseyans new mini and junior sections, two promotional banners prominently displayed at the club’s main entrance and quarter page adverts taken in three local papers prior to the start of last season.
Veseyans’ efforts have been duly rewarded with between 130 and 150 boys and girls attending the club every Sunday, more parents have become involved and the club has continued to expand and increase its involvement in the community.
The Club now has partnerships and external coaching delivery agreements with 11 local educational establishments which are continuing through to next season and they are sustaining their commitment to recruitment and growth by repeating the promotional activities at school fetes, the Sutton Coldfield Community Games.
Following last year’s considerable success they are working to a conservative influx of some 30 to 40 new youth players this coming season.
The National Rugby Awards are designed to honour the achievements of all the thousands rugby clubs across the country. The awards acknowledge their dedication and commitment to rugby.
The awards give the opportunity for clubs at all levels to enter and gain recognition for their contribution to the game.
The judging panel comprises former England internationals Jeremy Guscott, Jeff Probyn and Catherine Spencer and rugby journalist Nick Cain.