Like many other rugby clubs, the COVID-19 Pandemic has hit us all hard,
As a sport we would normally applaud hard hits in the form of tackles, but nothing could have prepared us for how hard this has hit us.
- Survive – reach out to the community to recover our COVID-19 financial loss.
- Support – our local community to keep active, stay healthy, use our Together group to reach out to someone friendly & be involved with our MRUFC family
- Rebuild – our schools and community programs to allow boys and girls to play the sport we all love. Offer fitness, healthy living and activities for all.
MRUFC is a community-based rugby club that will celebrate its 150th Anniversary in two years. As an organisation we pride ourselves on our ability to offer an opportunity for people to play the game of rugby union, whatever their ability level, in a club that has player pathways for everyone.
For many years MRUFC has run a thriving mini junior section which currently consists of ages ranging from u7s to u17s with over 150 children regularly playing and training.
At the start of the 2020 season the club identified the need to grow our mini/junior section. We needed to recruit more boys and girls and develop their talent in order to sustain the future of our club for the next 150 years. Development plans were written with actions and targets based around a number of areas including player recruitment and retention and the desire to improve both the numbers and the skill set of our junior coaching team.
MRUFC out and about.
MRUFC are always available to support our local friends and partners attending lots of events and fun days.
One such programme involved sending coaches into several local primary and secondary school in addition to hosting inter school games at Acklam Park. In the early part of 2020 these initiatives were beginning to bear fruit with mini and junior player numbers increasing as a direct result.
The photographs below show players from Acklam Grange & Kings Academy enjoying their time at Acklam Park.
Sadly, the pandemic then took hold and all rugby activity came to a grinding halt in March creating significant implications for MRUFC both on and off the playing field.
It’s not just about what happens on the field
As a community-based club social events form a key part of life at MRUFC. Such events are not only great for forging new friendships and re-establishing old ones but provide vital fundraising opportunities.
Volunteers behind the bar at our Annual Beer & Music Festival
MRUFC’s Bonfire night has been a tremendously successful community event for over 30 years.
Our First & Fabulous Ladies’ day
However, all these plans had to be cancelled meaning these one-off opportunities to generate income were lost. In addition, these loses were compounded further by the clubhouse remaining closed. In short, the lockdown restrictions have had a severe financial impact on MRUFC and our ability to execute our development plans
We are reaching out to you, friends, past players and current members of MRUFC to make a donation towards our crowdfunding campaign and help secure our future thereby allowing us to kick-start our -
- Schools integration plans
- Draft coaching session plans ready for school to deliver rugby in lessons.
- Coaches development paths to deliver the above
- Player recruitment plan from u7s to 1st team
- Increasing our girls, young ladies and ladies participation
- Making rugby available to everyone
We appreciate how difficult life is both financially and emotionally at the moment, but every donation will really make a difference. So please get involved and make our future your future!
Throughout these dark times the members of MRUFC have stuck together creating several online groups all under the banner of “MRUFC Together”. These groups kept former players, social members, families, current senior and junior players and many more people in touch providing support and that vital sense of community that we were all missing. Regular challenges were posted online, with a view to developing players skills, their fitness levels or simply to have a bit of fun
Our cyclists took to the three day charity ride
In the summer a group of MRUFC members cycled from Whitehaven to Sunderland raising funds for Ocumel (Eye Cancer charity) and also funds to purchase two emergency defibrillators for our training grounds
MRUFC Return to Rugby Stage D Touch Festival
When the lockdown restrictions and the RFU Return To Rugby roadmap allowed us to we opened our doors to our junior and senior players and their families hosting a series of touch rugby events. These proved to be incredibly popular and demonstrated once again how much the club meant to its members and the local community.
Seniors on Saturday and Juniors on Sunday
Despite the issues posed by the COVID 19 pandemic and despite the fact that the club was unable to continue our work with school partners, player numbers in both the senior and junior sections have continued to grow. As a club we remain more committed than ever to upgrade our facilities and increase our membership base to continue to provide rugby opportunities for all and provide the associated positive physical and mental benefits involved with being part of team sport.
So please get involved and make a donation supporting us to continue to offer what we do, helping us rebuild and develop our infrastructure and in so doing secure our future. Thank you for taking the time to see who we are.