Youth Rugby at Ventnor RFC
Open letter to Vectis RFC
c/o Emma Douglass – Chair
Dear all at Vectis RFC,
As you all know, Vectis RFC was established in order to preserve youth rugby on the Island. The senior clubs, at the time, were struggling to put out full teams across the age grades. So followed an understandable step to merge the teams so that one larger playing pool was created to ensure each age group had the best chance of surviving and in time, thriving.
The low playing numbers at the time were a side effect of a much larger situation on the Island; very few local schools played rugby; there was investments made into other sports attracting players away from rugby; volunteer numbers and availability had dropped substantially.
In recent years, we have seen an uplift in rugby interest in the Ventnor area. Where previously we as a club had found doors closed, there is optimism about the future. As an example, we are seeing local primary schools now regularly playing tag rugby in lessons and after school. We have seen very good numbers in organised school tournaments and initiatives like O2 touch. After huge investment in our pitches and training areas, the result is that the local community is engaged with us and wants to be more involved.
With these changes, we believe the time is right for us to be serving our local community, club and sport better by providing our own youth rugby programme. This is not to do down any of the hard work Vectis RFC have put in, in fact quite the opposite. You have made rugby for Island children sustainable, and have grown playing numbers in very difficult circumstances, we thank you for that. We understand the hard work required in developing our own youth and mini programme, and that it may be a slow process, but long term we believe this to be correct for Ventnor and the surrounding area that we serve.
In order to create this new programme we will be required to use our facility to its full potential. Sadly, we will no longer be able to provide pitches or training areas for training or playing use by Vectis RFC at Watcombe after this 21/22 season.
We wish Vectis RFC all the best in the future and we look forward to one day playing against you on the pitch.
Signed Ed Blake
Chairman Ventnor RFC
This is a big step for Ventnor but one we feel that will greatly contribute to the club going forward. There is a perfect and inspiring model close to hand thanks to our burgeoning links with Rew Valley Youth Football (watch this space) and it will greatly increase our links with the local community.
To this end, can you all pass on this message to your nearest and dearest to encourage the recruitment of young players. I certainly don’t need to advise you of the massive benefits of sport and – in particular – rugby to enhance inclusivity, friendships, mental well-being and fun among all age groups.
Onwards and upwards.
Very Best Regards
T: 07901 938 317