Who are we?
Founded in 1948, Bicester Rugby Union Football Club is a non-profit, Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC) open to all. We pride ourselves in being family-friendly and inclusive – providing an environment where players can develop in a safe and enjoyable way. Our overall mission is to grow the game of rugby in Bicester and the surrounding area through a long-term, player-centred approach to development.
Our approach to putting player enjoyment and skill development at the forefront of everything we do led us to being recognised as an RFU KidsFirst Champion in February 2020 – shortly before the effects of COVID19 were felt and our season was cut short by lockdown.
We cater for boys and girls from the ages 4 to 18, and also have a Senior Men and Women's section.
Former players include British & Irish Lion Haydn Morgan (Wales, 27 caps), Andy Gomarsall (England, 35 caps), and James Forrester (England, 2 caps).
Why are we fundraising?
2020 has been a perfect storm for Bicester Rugby Club. Like many other grassroots sports clubs, we have been affected by COVID19. We have also lost our home of more than half a century after the grounds were sold by the owner to a shopping outlet and we were refused a licence to remain on the site by the Bicester Sports Association who hold the lease until 2021. Our costs for use of grass for training have risen in part due to this, but also government guidance and regulations.
Combined, these factors have resulted in:
- Fewer players returning due to COVID19, and a reduction in membership income
- Increased costs for use of grass
- The need to purchase a storage container for all of our belongings from our old clubhouse
- Less money for equipment
- Less money raised in sponsorship due to the lack of a peman
- The inability to raise revenue from kitchen food sales due to our minis clubhouse (on a separate site) currently being closed
What do we offer our local community?
Community Outreach is one of the club's five strategic priorities and, although we do not own the grounds we play on or clubhouses we use, we strive to play an active part in our local community.
We have an active Schools Outreach programme, aiming to ensure every PE teacher in our local primary and secondary schools receives RFU Coach training. This also includes our activity to support the North Oxfordshire School Sports Partnership, providing free coaching sessions in local schools.
We are an Active Oxfordshire satellite club and partner with local community groups to help people lead more active and healthy lives.
Our Access to Rugby Fund was set up to support parents or individuals who are struggling to afford the cost associated with becoming a member of BRUFC. Those in this position can have their fees paid for by the Fund – helping families and individuals who would otherwise not play rugby as they cannot afford the membership fee. We also provide a kit/clothing bank which gives people access to free kit/clothing if they are in financial difficulty.
Bicester is a garrison town, and support for our armed forces is ingrained at the rugby club. Many of our players have previously come from the garrison, including former Haydn Morgan who played for Wales (27 caps) and the British & Irish Lions while at Bicester.
Club members have previously raised money for local charities, and supported other local groups in town festivals, carnivals and fetes.
Partner funding means your donation is worth more
We have applied for Sport England Active Together match funding. If successful Sport England will provide up to £10,000 extra to help us through the ongoing COVID19 crisis.
This means that any donations are worth more to us when donated through this Crowdfunder – so please do help us if you can!
Also remember, all donations can be gift aided to give us a 25% top-up from HMRC.
What will the money be spent on?
This fundraising campaign will provide much needed money that will be used for:
- Purchase of a used shipping container to store our belongings
- Purchase of new balls, cones, tackle pads etc. for our players and coaches
- To cover the increased grass usage costs due to temporary government restrictions on social distancing and maximum players per pitch
- Our Access to Rugby Fund – for families and individuals who would otherwise not play rugby as they cannot afford the membership fee
You will be helping us get through this difficult period and keep rugby going and growing in Bicester.