The Development of Rugby
In 2003 when England won the World cup all of a sudden thousands of
kids wanted to pick up rugby balls and become the ‘next Jonny
Wilkinson’ since then the RFU has taken various methods to try and
encourage children to take up rugby.
Nationally there is the Zurich Premier League, these are the twelve
best teams in the country and compete for honours at home and abroad.
Then there is division 1, division 2, division 3 north, and division 3
south. In the division 3 the players are semi-pro; this is also likely
to be the case in division 2. There are then regional leagues such as
London north 1, London north 2, and London north 3. In the Zurich
Premier League they have the best stadiums and pitches this country
has to offer. In division 1 it is likely that they will have a stand,
although the pitch might not be in great condition, for example in
Middlesex London Welsh. This is the same in division 2. In the
regional leagues they have small stand holding only a small amount of
people. In the local leagues they have poor pitches and no stands.
On the 10th of September 2004 the RFU set up the Scrum in the Park.
This was designed to encourage kids to go see the England team train.
There were also specialist coaches running drills trying to teach
children the basics. There were also opportunities to enter into a
tournament. The main attraction of the day though would to be to see
the World Cup and the World cup winners train.
Rugby clubs in England have been awarded £6.4 million as part of the
Community Club Development Programme (CCDP). The CCDP is an innovative
collaboration between the Government, Sport England and its governing
bodies aimed at improving facilities. The RFU will receive £9.4
million for the three year programme.
The projects are putting down artificial pitches and improvements in
existing playing surfaces providing lighting for first team and
training pitches to enable more people from communities to take part
in the game. An example of this where this money has helped, is Ealing
Rugby club in Middlesex. Through this money they have been able to
build a whole new sports complex.
At Grassroots in North London there are various teams available to
join and play mini rugby. Saracens, who have a gym, and 4 pitches of a
good standard. Harrow, there are two pitches. Barnet have just 3
pitches all of to a reasonable standard, Finchley, have just two
pitches, both are waterlogged easily and drastically need
improvements. Around the rest of Middlesex there is, Ruislip, Wasps,
Staines, Ealing, London Welsh. All have good facilities and a good
level of coaching. All the teams, in Middlesex have teams based on the
system described below.
Grassroots rugby starts at the under 7’s level and both...