Just the mention of the word ‘Rugby’ puts a smile on my face. I remember watching matches almost every weekend with friends and playing for my local club at the time, London Welsh. I love the passion, the team spirit, and of course the wonderful social nature of the sport.
Committee members at Edenbridge RFC have been busy developing the club and have recently achieved accreditation as an official RFU (Rugby Football Union) recognised club. I met with Club Secretary Blair Clubley to learn more about all the exciting plans at Edenbridge RFC and how the club is growing from strength to strength.
Blair and the Executive Committe is committed to making rugby more accessible to everyone in the community. He recently started an after school rugby club at Edenbridge Primary School for both boys and girls. Rugby is more than just a game, with great core values to be learned, as when playing any team sport: sportsmanship, team spirit, respect, and integration to name but a few, and of course the health benefits.
There are already a number of teams regularly playing at the club: 5 Senior Mens teams, 4 Youth teams, 6 Mini’s teams (from ages 7-12) and now a Girls Under 15s team. Blair is hoping to expand the Ladies section to incorporate a Senior team as well. Edenbridge RFC works closely with other local clubs and Tonbridge Juddians (who have a very strong Ladies section) have offered to coach a Senior Ladies team for Edenbridge which is great news.
This summer the club will be hosting Social Touch Rugby on Tuesday evenings and everyone is invited to take part (no experience necessary) so if you’ve never played before, this is a great way to learn the techniques and improve your ball skills without having to worry about being tackled. And you’ll have lots of fun too!
As with any local club or organisation, funding plays a big role in securing it’s future and a number of activities are organised throughout the year to ensure the club has enough funds to keep going. These are open to everyone and events include black tie dinners, family fun days and golf tournaments.
The next main event is on Sunday 11th May, the annual Mini’s Presentations. In the afternoon there will be demo matches, a bouncy castle and barbeque as well as the official presentation of the club’s RFU accreditation. The fun starts from 1pm at the Pavilion (home of Edenbridge RFC) in the recreation ground off Lingfield Road.
The first Sunday in September is annual season registration which includes an afternoon of matches, great barbeque food and an open bar for refreshments – it’s a great family day out so put the date in your diary and bring your friends! I took my brother along a couple of years ago and he had a wonderful time.
The Pavilion is also available for hire and makes for a great venue with space for 100 standing or 80 seated guests. The clubhouse comes with a fully licenced bar and kitchen. It is also available for daytime hire with playgroups and drama groups already enjoying the facilities.