Welcome to the junior section! An exciting season awaits us which with the proposed club development programme should aim to provide us with 3G training facilities and more clubhouse space. We will be introducing a club bond amongst other fund raising measures to which I urge you all to give your support.
2014-15 was very successful for the junior section with the Colts winning the RFU National U17’s Plate Competition at the AJ Bell Stadium, home to the Sale Sharks. This is the second time in four seasons that little old Heathfield has won this competition, a feat yet to be replicated by any other Sussex Club. Dave Rhodes, our Club Chairman, said ‘We have the Plate and Bowl and I can only retire when we have the Cup and Shield to complete the set’.
On the domestic front the U17’s won their unofficial league. We had two Colts teams which came runners up in the Premiership League and a creditable forth in the Championship League. They also went on to win the Worthing 7’s. The U15’s gained good numbers over the course of the season and were runners up in both their league and the Worthing 7’s. The U14’s retain premiership status moving on to next season and the U13’s finished third in the Premiership. All age groups have toured with the Colts travelling to Barcelona. The U15’s had a mini tour to Guernsey and toured Wales. The U14’s toured in Somerset playing a local side and the U13’s travelling to Dover for the Deal & Bettshanger 7’s.
That conveyor-belt of talent that is the Minis Section is sending us another strong squad so with their introduction we are fast approaching 150 in the junior section and will be entering a team in every age group this season. Our coaches are extremely well qualified and motivated, ably supported by their management teams with proven success season after season. We are fortunate to have such strength and depth at our club. Recruitment and retention of players is the life blood of any Club so we are fortunate to have such a large, well run junior section. We are looking to appoint a dedicated Colts Coach to provide a link between the juniors and senior teams who will work closely with our first team coach.
You, the parents, are the most important as without you we would have no coaches, no managers, no committee members, no helpers, no supporters - you get the picture! Remember that without your help our club is poorer both literally and figuratively, so please support us, put your hands up and volunteer. It is great fun and you will make good friends. Whether you become a head coach or help out at the Heathfield Show, this is all invaluable.
I would like to welcome Ben Harman who as Vice Chair will be taking over from me for the 2016-17 season. I would like to think we will be handing over one of the biggest and best run junior sections around. My aims for this coming season are quite simple and that will be to recruit more players and retain those we have. One way to do that is through our continued success which will encourage new players to come and join us at Heathfield and Waldron RFC. Another is to emphasise and promote the core values of our sport which attracted many of us to rugby in the first place. Attached are the RFU code of rugby which reiterates these core values and a short letter concerning touchline behaviour. Please take time to read these and remind ourselves of rugby’s true values and aims.
I would like to thank our sponsors Sussex Country Gardener of Mark Cross and all our team sponsors.
I am looking forward to the new season, working with you all and for you to promote our children’s skills, health and personal development through the sport we love.