Community support

Funding level: £1,001 to £5,000

Description

My partner coaches the Under 13’s York Acorn Rugby League Team. The team formed in 2008, they started with only 6 players and they have grown into a strong side of 22….. our players are from York, Wetherby and Leeds….. they have the commitment to travel x3 times a week to York!

The boys train twice a week and they play a game on a Saturday, throughout Yorkshire and East Riding. We attend the annual Leeds Rhinos Challenge at Skegness (annually), which is great exposure as this year 158 team participated from around Yorkshire, East Riding and Lincolnshire. This year the boys won their table and they were awarded the Fair Play Award throughout the whole of the Under 13’s; bringing back silverware to their club. The boys reached the Cup Final, they played Newsham Panthers on the 8th July 2017, at Featherstone Stadium; a professional stadium, something they were very proud! Such a great achievement.

They put in so much hard work, they are a great bunch of kids (albeit from different walks of life but their bond is amazing). The coach invests a vast amount of his time into developing these kids and he regularly puts ‘write ups’ in the York Evening Press, the Rugby Weekly Magazine, the Rugby Express Magazine, shout outs on Sky Sports and uses social media for positive exposure…. All brilliant to gain awareness and boost the children’s confidence.

As a team, each year we look for sponsors and/or fundraising opportunities. We are a self funded team and each year it becomes more difficult to secure sponsorship. The boys growing constantly, so the costs increase. As a team (parents too), we also complete sponsored events throughout the year, to raise funds for the team. It’s important for us as a team to make sure the children feel equal, as one, despite their background or financial situation. The coach uses the sponsor monies to ensure that they all play in the same playing kit, he purchases them all the same pair of rugby boots, off field kit, tracksuits and kit bags. All of the team have the same, equal to one another, but of course it all comes at a cost, so we continuously look for new opportunities.

This year the boys and their dads have completed the Krypton Factor Assault Course (sponsored event) and us mums are completing a 10 mile walk throughout York. Everything raised is invested into the team including: training equipment, pre-season training (they have completed seasons at Craig Longs Martial Arts Gym, X Martial Arts, Wrestling at Legions Gym, indoor fitness sessions at Poppleton Centre, to provide them with variety. This encourages new skills and confidence but develops the skills, fitness and strengthening that rugby requires). They are taken out for days to bond as team….. to the beach to train and they are treated to fish and chips, camping for the night, Curry night at an Indian Restaurant plus other team bonding activities.

This is a rugby team that need the support from the community to thrive and succeed. A large amount of time from both coaching staff, parents and families are invested into this team. We want to see them grow into fine young men, keep them off the streets, keep their minds and bodies occupied & healthy. It isn't just about rugby for us... it is teaching the kids life skills, developing confidence, providing them with life experiences, making memories but it all comes down to support from the community and fundraising opportunities.

As the children get older the cost of equipment & kit increases, it becomes difficult to obtain sponsorship (I have emailed over 500 local communities this year but to no avail). We are a team that help ourselves, the boys are proud of what they achieve but we also do need that helping hand.

York Acorn Rugby League Club

Location: Acomb, York, United Kingdom

Their hard work, determination and wiliness to succeed, is amazing. They don't give up, they encourage each other on and off the pitch. They accept each other and welcome others with open arm; their bond is fantastic. They are flourishing and growing, turning negative situations into positives.
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