For those who haven't heard how it all started from our very own Gary Fawcett MBE all those years ago, let me remind you. Back in 1978 Gary moved to Melbourne from the Peak District where he had been playing for Davenport RFC. He quickly enthused a number of locals to spend their Sunday mornings throwing an oval ball around. There are those amongst us that would point out that this was just an excuse to spend some post match time rehydrating in the village's locals. However it was clear to see that Gary had started something and such was the popularity of the Sunday morning sessions that the foundations for Melbourne Rugby Club were laid, albeit under the name 'Wilson Knitting Circle'. Melbourne RFC was officially formed in the latter months of 1983, joining the RFU, 3 Counties RFU and the Derbyshire RFU playing our first full fixture list during the 1984/85 season.
Since those halcyon days back in the mid 1980s the club has dramatically progressed thanks to the long list of players, committed volunteers and loyal supporters. Melbourne RFC has grown to be one of the premier clubs in Derbyshire successfully winning promotion to Midlands 1 twice in recent seasons. Melbourne RFC is a true community rugby club, striving to be all inclusive which provides rugby opportunities for all, regardless of age, capability or ethnicity. Since those early days the club has grown and now fields 3 senior teams, a well established academy, a burgeoning development side and even gets a few old boys playing an occasional vets game. The club also runs a highly successful mixed touch league catering for all abilities and experience.
Our foundation and direction does not change regardless of our success and the level of rugby being played. We are a small, honest and humble club that strives to play at the highest level achievable. Our success is built upon our sustainable development of our youth with our Mini and Junior sections being one of the brightest and most talented in the three counties. Thanks to our many committed volunteers our Mini and Junior section provides a fun and safe environment for all ages to participate in the wonderful game we call rugby, creating friendships and memories that will last a life time. Our established Mini and Juniors are well supported by our girls section - the Melbourne Minxes, which we hope one day will develop into a sustainable senior ladies side.
Our ambition is to be the rugby club of choice in South Derbyshire and the surrounding areas whilst maintaining our standing as a community club. We are committed to developing the players of the future and to be an inclusive, vibrant and welcoming club. Through our community coaching programme, we aim to teach the core values of rugby: respect, discipline, teamwork, enjoyment and sportsmanship. We provide this through the training and development of our RFU qualified coaches and the retention of our RFU accredited status. At the beating heart of Melbourne RFC is our 'One Club' ethos which has put the club where it is today. However our future is not secure during these troubled times, when our opportunities to participate have been so cruelly curtailed by events we have no control of.
Unfortunately the current situation does not only threaten national and local businesses but also the survival of our beloved rugby club. In these difficult times when revenue streams are difficult to find, previous fundraising events and sponsorship opportunities have had to be abandoned due to government guidelines, the club still needs to raise funds for its continuation. The club needs funds to support our commitment to the upkeep of our shared facilities at the Melbourne Sporting Partnership, as well as continued essential maintenance and development of our pitches. Add this to the burden of providing playing kit and equipment for all of our 17 sides; and that doesn't even cover our plans to provide additional drainage solutions to our training area and the development of our 3rd pitch for our junior section. We are also obligated to ensure all our volunteer's training continues to ensure our amazing coaches and first aiders are qualified. This is key for the club's success.
We are a family club in all sense of the term! We have brothers and sisters playing together, fathers and sons, mothers and daughters but above and beyond this we are a rugby family. We pull together to get the best out of one another and support each other when needed. Being part of the Green&Gold family is an honour for anyone and the spirit is unique in an environment which is truly fulfilling and special. Our hope is to guarantee the future of the club and to do this we need your support. We would like to raise a sum of £20,000 that will be combined with other funding opportunities to enable us to secure the future of the club and continue the fantastic work we already do.
Thank you from the Directors of Melbourne Rugby Football Club.