The support package, announced today 21st June, will assist in developing Community Coaching, Continuing Professional Development and First XV Development programmes currently run by CRUFC. The Howard funding will support two community coaches to train and nurture local talent in 20 local primary schools and local village colleges. It will also help provide development for coaches and players, broadening their qualifications and developing careers beyond playing and assist the the club in identifying and developing future talent to feed into the first team squad.
Other areas of activity will include summer rugby camps for children in association with the City Council’s Street Games Programme and disabled rugby coaching.
Nicholas Bewes, MD of the Howard Group, and CRUFC management teams with players and coaches involved in the development programmes are pictured here.
Left to right, back row: Adam White, Alex Kelsall and Benjamin Cooper, Ist XV Development Programme players. Ien Ascroft – Leigh and Tom Wheatcroft, Community coaches. Matt Dunn, Albert Portsmouth and Mike Bellamy, Ist XV Development Programme players. Danny Hunter, Community Manager.
Front row: Bob Crooks, Director of Rugby. Nicholas Bewes, Howard Group MD and Steve Bowller, CRUFC Chairman.
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The Howard Group is keen that the support package is channelled into local youth rugby and assists in identifying future talent. The Group already helps support up-and-coming young rowers at Leander Club in Henley and feels CRUFC can benefit in a similar way from this type of support. “We have been involved with Leander Club for a number of years offering financial support to talented rowers who are on the cusp of breaking into the GB team, this type of structured and direct support has helped their development and opened up opportunities for them”, says Howard Group MD, Nicholas Bewes. “CRUFC already has an extremely well structured youth development programme in place and we are delighted to be able to support and encourage this valuable work done through the various programmes. We are very much looking forward to being able to help promote rugby in the Cambridgeshire community.”
Director of Rugby at CRUFC, Bob Crooks, commented. “I am delighted that the Howard Group have considered us worthy of such significant financial support. Our community department has worked extremely hard over the past eighteen months to develop partnerships with key stakeholders within our local community.
“This funding will allow us to improve and further extend our reach into the local schools. It will enable us to put into place a professional development structure for our coaches. Furthermore, it will allow us to roll out our Future 1st XV Player Development Programme. This programme will accelerate the development of some of the most gifted young players in the region and enhance their opportunities of playing National League rugby in the Cambridge 1st XV.
“It is a testament both to our community coaches and to Danny Hunter as Community Manager that we have created such a fantastic vehicle on which we can develop the youngsters within our community not just for the benefit of Cambridge Rugby Club but also to act as a support mechanism for teachers, carers and parents of the children who will be the next generation of sports men and women.
“We are very proud of our association with the Howard Group and look forward to working in partnership with them for the foreseeable future.”
The Howard Group support programme will cumulate with an end of season schools rugby festival taking place during a first XV match day fixture.
More information about the Howard Group can be found here.