Lincolnshire Sport & Physical Activity Awards

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Active Lincolnshire is committed to providing opportunities for everyone in Lincolnshire to be active every day. We work with partners to address inequalities and inactivity, responding to the needs of people and places.

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Funded Projects

Bourne Rugby Club Mini and Juniors boasts the fastest growth in the UK thanks to upskilling of volunteer coaches

Bourne Rugby Club Mini and Juniors boasts the fastest growth in the UK thanks to upskilling of volunteer coaches

Bourne Rugby Club, were one of the many organisations across Lincolnshire who benefited from a grant from Sport England's Together Fund, distributed by Active Lincolnshire. The club received a grant of £4,500 to help support their mini and juniors sections.

Prior to Covid-19, Bourne Rugby Club had over 100 children playing every week. However, when the club restarted after the Pandemic, there were just 6 that returned.

As with many organisations across the UK post-covid, the Club started to grow again. The club applied for the Together Fund grant from Sport England, to support the growth and development of the club and enable them to continue to promote Rugby for all, making it accessible to all children in the local area.

With the funding support, their aim was to achieve 120 children playing rugby every weekend and to accomplish this, they trained and upskilled 10 volunteers to deliver these sessions. The training courses varied from Kids First Tag, Kids First Contact up to England Rugby Coaching Award. Coaches also attended a ‘First Aid for Rugby’ Course in which medical professionals focused on Rugby related First Aid and emergency situations so that they were confident to deliver sessions in a safe environment. The coaches were also provided with rugby equipment, training kit and first aid kits.

To engage with the local community, the funding allowed Bourne Rugby Club to work with local schools and organisations, such as the Scouts and Guides, to promote Rugby, the Club and the benefits of getting involved and playing Rugby. This increased the number of active children around Bourne and introduced the sport to new audiences. The development of these key relationships in the town and local area continue to grow, and all are seeing the benefits for the next generation of children.

Bourne Rugby Club is fully volunteer led, with everyone giving up their free time to be able to deliver this service. The Club are determined to be the best in the local area and their goal continues to be making the sport accessible to children of all ages, keeping membership fees low and open to all.

Bourne Rugby Club Minis & Junior section now exceeds a membership of 115 players, and continues to grow, recently being recognised as the fastest growing Mini and Junior Clubs in England by The Rugby Football Union. However, the Club do not want this to be at the detriment of the quality of coaching that they deliver to the children involved. The training provided to the volunteer coaches has meant this has created a solid and positive foundation for the high-quality sessions they provide.

The Together Fund has allowed them to keep membership fees low for parents, which is especially important in the current cost of living crisis, and has given them the chance to invest in kit so that every child involved is given this as part of their sign up. As soon as the children grow out of boots and kit, there are swap boxes available, which is a great environmentally friendly way of ensuring that everything is used as much as possible and doesn’t put any financial pressure on families, preventing their children from participating.

Bursaries have been created with the support of JJ Mac Ltd, a local business, and in 2023, several children were supported by this programme. The club's aim for 2024 is to provide this support to another five children. Many other local businesses have come on board with support since as they have seen the benefits of making sport accessible to their town’s next generation.

Aaron Calvert, Chairperson of BRUFC Mini & Juniors Section commented:

"Bourne Rugby Club's ethos is based on the core values of rugby - TREDS (Teamwork, Respect, Enjoyment, Discipline, Sportsmanship). The Together Fund has enabled us to continue our rapid growth whilst continuing to offer safe, fully inclusive and sustainable rugby coaching for kids in Bourne and the surrounding areas.
To be recently recognised by The Rugby Football Union (RFU) as the FASTEST GROWING Mini & Juniors in England is testament of the effort put in by all!"

Instilling these initiatives into the Club has meant it has become a positive and supportive community for all involved. The core values of Rugby are the ethos of this club and it runs through the heart and soul of the organisation.

Ian Brown, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Manager, from Active Lincolnshire who worked with the club to secure the funding commented:

"We were delighted to be able to support Bourne Rugby Club to increase their workforce through distribution of a Sport England, Together Fund grant. The club have really engaged with their local community and offered more opportunities for children in the area to be active, including those from low income families who may have found accessing sport opportunities difficult.

Volunteers are essential to many grassroots clubs and organisations, and it is fantastic to be able to support Bourne Rugby Club to invest in its volunteers. The club showed plans for sustainability in their application, and have implemented a fantastic range of measures to make the club both sustainable and more accessible for those families on low income, from keeping membership fees low and gaining business sponsorship to offering the option of swapping kit when children grown out of it."

Sport England’s Together Fund existed to help reduce the negative impact of coronavirus and help community groups working with target audiences to grow and help more people. The Fund was a continuation of the Tackling Inequalities Fund that was set up in April 2020, as part of the support package to help the sport and physical activity sector through the Covid-19 crisis. £20 million of National Lottery funding committed to helping groups that were being disproportionally affected by the pandemic and was significantly impacting their ability to physically active. This included lower socio-economic groups, culturally diverse communities, disabled people and people with long-term health conditions. You can find out more about clubs that benefitted from the funding here.

Discover Funding Opportunities for your club on our funding pages.

View cost of living advice for clubs and physical activity organisations here.