Swaffham Rugby Club

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Swaffham Rugby Club was founded in the Red Lion Public House, 1982, by a group of local rugby enthusiasts.

Early fixtures were played on a local school pitch and the post-match hospitality was enjoyed in an adjacent Sports Centre bar. As the club progressed, results improved, our overall strength and organisation grew and an initiative was born towards obtaining our own ground and clubhouse. After a number of ‘false dawns’ we eventually secured our current site and by October 1987 we had acquired a timber framed, temporary building to complete our home. In 1992 our thoughts turned towards the replacement of the timber clubhouse, standing only on Temporary Planning Permission, by a purpose built permanent facility. After securing a number of grants from the likes of Sport England, The Foundation of Sport and the Arts, Norfolk County Council and Breckland Council, along with local fundraising, our new facility became occupied on 1st November 2001 and was formally opened, by Jon Armstrong, of Sport England, in April 2002. It compromises of four en-suite changing rooms, two en-suite Officials changing rooms, a large and comfortable lounge and bar, a modern professionally equipped kitchen, bar store, public and disabled toilets and other rooms.

The Club has now developed into a firmly established rugby and local community organisation. Adult teams compete in the Eastern Counties League programme and to show how far the club have developed, the 1st team have just won the Eastern Counties 2 league title for 2013. On top of this, they have also won the Norfolk Junior Cup for the second season running. Both of these are a major achievement for a club this size and a firm indication that coaching and developing players in a quality environment, from ages 6 all the way up to the Senior 1st team is having a really positive effect. The Mini section was formed by Hugh Green, in 2002 and has developed and matured beyond our wildest dreams and to date we now have over 150 registered Mini, Youth and Colt members. The Mini’s section ranges from under 7’s to under 12’s and train on Sunday mornings with activity and skill sessions with our qualified coaches and helpers. The Youth teams include those who play at U13’s to U16’s level. The Colts complete the line up with players at the U17 and U18 ages, preparing them for the transition into the senior sides. All the teams compete in their respective leagues or in regular exchanges and festivals with other local clubs and Junior Sections from outside the County.Also, for the first time, for the 2012/13 season, the club combined forces with other local clubs to produce a Vets team, the Breckland Barbarians. Made up from those who ‘really should know better’, aged from 40 upwards, competed in a series of ‘friendlies’, against similar minded teams in the region. This meant that the club had registered players competing at all levels from 6 to 70 years old! Very impressive!

As well as building on the bond between club and service personnel and families from RAF Marham, we now look forward to new challenges and to becoming a real multi-facet club that offers a modern, purpose built sports facility for the development of players of all ages and both genders. This aim will be furthered by a recently established link with Leicester Tigers. Leicester RUFC decided in 2002, to set up their Elite Player Development Centre (EPDC), for this area, at Swaffham RUFC. Coaching sessions are staged every two weeks in season, and young players visit the centre from throughout the county and participate in professionally supervised development activities. 2002 also saw the first ‘Leicester Tigers Summer School’, at the Club, when young players attend a five day course in rugby skills led by professional experienced coaches, who not only coach but are always on the lookout for new talent. This has become an annual event with this year’s course taking place at the end of July. As a local community facility we also host Summer Family Fun Days in August and the towns fireworks display, which is on 3rd November 2013 as well as holding a New Years’ Eve bash for young and old. The club house and bar is also available on weekends and evenings for functions and events, whether it’s a weight watchers meeting, Yoga session or a Christening\Wedding\ birthday party. So as you can see Swaffham Rugby club has lots to offer, as well as outstanding rugby. If you have got this far reading about our club, history and development and wish to pursue your adult rugby playing skills, or even regenerate them, or you have children whom may benefit from being introduced to the game, contact the Club and you will be warmly welcomed into our ‘family based’ environment. Likewise, should you have a profession or business interest towards participating in sponsorship of the Club; we will obviously be very pleased to liaise with you.

Further details of the club, coaches, teams and training times are available via our hugely successful website, as is the club shop and details of all our upcoming events. We look forward to seeing you at the club, North Pickenham Road, Swaffham, PE37 7QX. Visit: www.pitchero.com/clubs/swaffham. For club hire please call 01760 724829 and ask for Ned.