Club has remained strong and focused

March 02 2022
Club has remained strong and focused

Denis Verrier, Chairman of the Minis and Junior section of Wells Rugby Club, describes how the club is thriving again after a difficult couple of years

THE last two years have been unprecedented and have meant having to get used to life through Covid. Coming out the other side has been difficult for everyone; it has changed the way people live their lives, interact with each other and has impacted all aspects of life including sport.

Wells Rugby Club is no different.

The club consists of more than 200 members, with senior men’s teams playing in the Tribute Somerset Premier of South West Division, as well as a thriving girls rugby section and the long-standing and well-established Juniors and Minis section, covering every age group from U6 up to Colts.

Over the past two seasons the senior teams’ league results have been heavily disrupted and although every attempt was made early on to adapt in order to keep everyone safe, the Rugby Football Union, following guidance from the government, soon decided to put a stop to all rugby activities. This was unheard of and a huge shock for a community club like ours.

This could have been disastrous to ‘grassroots’ rugby clubs who rely on match food and drinks takings, membership fees, sponsorship and funds raised through clubhouses and events to exist. The club took some very pragmatic, and sometimes difficult decisions to ensure that it would survive throughout these difficult times.

These also presented some opportunities, and thanks to our volunteers and benefactors, we were able to refresh the look and feel of our clubhouse on Charter Way ready for the return to rugby, alongside the addition of our new ‘Shack’, serving our community with hot and cold refreshments and food on training and match days.

Then the day finally arrived, and the return to rugby was finally here. Training started again as well as friendly matches. Even though it was different in many ways in the early days, it was a great feeling to see our club and its community of members, players, parents, supporters and sponsors come together again.

Numbers of players across all age groups continued to increase, including our standalone girls’ teams, all brilliantly supported by our incredibly loyal sponsors and volunteers. Despite the long ‘lay-off’, players and coaches were eager to return to some normality. For our youngers players, we continued with our approach of focusing on our ethos of ‘learn rugby, enjoy rugby, play rugby’. It is so important to us to ensure that the children enjoy themselves first and foremost, forming new friendships and acquiring key life skills through rugby’s core values of ‘Teamwork, Respect, Enjoyment, Discipline, Sporstmanship’.

Despite all the difficulties, the club has remained strong and focused. John Owen, our new chairman, is continuing to work on our long-term planned move to our Haybrdge site, on the outskirts of Wells, which will represent a huge step for Wells Rugby Club, allowing us to grow even further and providing ever more opportunities for young and not so young people to come and enjoy this most wonderful of sports.

This season has been incredible already, with our Minis and Juniors section continuing to grow and showing excellent form, with our U12s team still unbeaten and our girls’ teams thriving under the leadership of Allie. We also became part of Bath Rugby Affiliate club programme, a ground-breaking initiative launched by Bath Rugby aimed at supporting clubs local to them and developing.

Despite all the success, we also always need volunteers to help the club and are also looking for coaches in our minis section to help develop and grow further for the benefit of our young players, so please do get in touch with us to get involved.

The next few months will be busy as always, with increased presence in the community, as well as taking part in the Queen’s jubilee celebrations.

The future is looking incredibly exciting, with our 150th anniversary only a few years away, and we are delighted to be able to be a part of that future at the heart of your community.