WIVELISCOMBE Rugby Club, the second oldest club in Somerset after Bath, have won the RFU’s seal of approval for their thriving junior section.
Peter Stone became involved with the club four years ago when his son Zach joined the minis at the age of 11 and having picked up the reins of junior rugby chairman soon after Zach joined, Peter became overall club chairman in July 2009.
Stone explained how the club went about wearning the seal of approval: “We built around what we needed. Having no structure in place to follow we just had to start again.
“So we rewrote the club constitution and moved the club forward. We run juniors from 12 upwards but are not a big club - we are a small village club.”
Despite that Wivey now have a thriving junior section which is being reflected by success in the senior teams.
The first team are currently challenging for the Somerset 1 title while the second team are also enjoying a successful season in Somerset 2 South.
They also boast a Colts side which is vitally important for any village club who are relying on a great deal of home-grown talent to bolster their senior teams.
“One of our biggest problems is player retention and recruitment,” admits Peter. “We need to keep the lads coming through from the Colts but, because we are a village side, they tend to move away.” But despite that Wivey continue to thrive and have been rewarded by the RFU.
“They’ve come a long way in the last three years,” said the RFU’s Regional Development Officer for Devon and Somerset, Jon Bendle.
“They are well organised, they’ve made a huge investment in coaches and volunteers and have good links with local schools.
The officially presentation of the seal should take place at the past players lunch on March 26.