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Article by Editorial | 8th October 2018

Canterbury Rugby Club: A Sports Club for All

Creating many opportunities for sport, Canterbury Rugby Football Club is renowned for being a club that delivers exceptional standards of rugby at all levels, offering something for everyone. Indeed, it has built itself a significant place within the community of Canterbury

Canterbury Rugby Football Club (CRFC) has much to celebrate. Known as being one of the top rugby clubs in Kent it is in the top 70 clubs in England competing in the fourth tier of English rugby, National 2 South.

Boasting seven senior sides (including a women’s side, occasional Vets team and the Hellfires Wheelchair team) as well as juniors, mini and touch rugby, CRFC offers an expansive programme. Such participation figures indicate that the future of the club is extremely healthy with it aiming to reach National One status by 2025. However, the club is not complacent and recognises that participation at all levels needs to be maintained to ensure that it continues to retain and grow its membership.

Ensuring long-term success

Canterbury Rugby Football Club are fortunate to boast a full-time Director of Rugby Andy Pratt (left). Crucial to the development of rugby at CRFC, Andy’s role is three-fold:

• Performance of the first team in the National League
• Development of rugby throughout the club
• Managing the club’s community programmes

With the challenge of maintaining membership of the club’s squads as well as succession planning for the future, Andy sees the community programme and recently launched open sessions as being integral to ensuring the club’s long-term success.

“All community sports clubs face challenges in maintaining and growing their playing numbers at both senior and youth levels nowadays. We see the club’s role as driving the development of rugby union in the Canterbury and East Kent area. Supporting local schools’ and universities’ coaching programmes can only benefit both the club and the wider community and it is something we are trying to expand,” explains Andy.

Investing in their players

Part of the succession planning for CRFC includes the development of a coaching workforce that can help to deliver their coaching activity. With a track record for developing home-grown coaches, CRFC are committed to investing in their players as people both on and off the pitch. Eight of their current first team squad are Level 2 qualified coaches all of which assist with the delivery of the club’s community programmes.

As well as helping to develop their players as people, having first team squad members coach within the community ensures that there is a clear link between the club and outreach activity. This is especially the case when new members join the club from a positive community coaching experience. Arriving at CRFC is not as daunting when there is a familiar and friendly face to greet you.

“The community programme brings a lot of positives, one of which is that it gives our players the opportunity to qualify and develop as coaches. It gives them a different perspective and potential opportunities as future coaches or teachers. It also helps to drive awareness of the club and the sport within the local community,” says Andy.

GETTING INVOLVED

Canterbury Rugby Football Club can be found at The Marine Travel Ground, Merton Lane North, Nackington Road, Canterbury CT4 7AZ. For more information, including playing, spectating and fixtures, visit www.cantrugby.co.uk or call 01227 761301.

 

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