Chesham Rugby Club – ‘The Stags’
Chesham Rugby Club was formed in 1982 and was given little chance of survival in a football dominated town. Despite having to move three times in our short history, the club has thrived and along the way we have picked up a reputation for being “Buck’s Friendliest Club”.
With four adult teams, including a Women’s team, we play in the Berks, Bucks, and Oxon Premier League and Middlesex Merit Tables. Our adult membership is made up of mainly Chesham residents, while our mini and junior sections are largely populated by the pupils of local schools.
We offer sport and community social activities to all age groups of boys and girls, as well as men and women in the Chesham area. All our volunteers are unpaid and without their efforts and support we would not exist.
This year, the club will roll out its five year development plan which has been approved by the Rugby Football Union. After rigorous inspections and multiple written submissions our club has been officially accredited by the RFU and Sport England as a well-run and managed Community Sports Club.
Our development plan is divided into two sections:
• Playing and operating side of the club.
• Funding and building a community clubhouse.
Over the years our club has always been generously supported with donations from our membership and local businesses. We are most grateful for this support and it has enabled our club to progress. We are now releasing details of our new sponsorship package – “Deer Friends”
We remain flexible in setting out our “Deer Friend” sponsorship suggestions and are happy to have discussions on sponsorship ideas and any improvements you may have. We will always be pleased to meet with you to discuss any sponsorship proposals in more detail.
Chesham Rugby Club is proud to have two senior Level 3 coaches leading the club coaching - Rochelle Clark and Katherine Merchant. Rocky and Kat are current England Women international players and they manage our adult coaching.
We also have qualified coaches for each mini and junior age group. Drawn mostly from parents and playing members our volunteer coaches are available every Sunday, and additionally for some mid-week junior coaching. Chesham Rugby Club has a coaching coordinator who organises club, county, and RFU coaching. Importantly, our club coaching is fully accredited by the RFU.
The Stags currently run three adult men’s sides. The first team play in the Bucks, Berks, and Oxon Premier League and consists mostly of players who have been developed by Chesham’s junior section. The second team are aspiring or retiring first team players and play in the Middlesex Merit Tables. Our third team are a mixture of veterans and young bloods. The club uses the third team to transition our junior players into adult rugby while at the same time retaining the interest of the club veterans. We hope to re-introduce our popular veteran’s side and re-play some of the legendary friendly games of days gone by.
Our women’s team is a real success for the club. Founded 21 years ago, and despite overcoming many difficulties, Chesham Rugby Club has always managed to raise a women’s side each season. With our quality coaching the women’s side has recruited well for the coming season. Many of our members play for the Buck’s county women’s side, and we expect to be well represented again this season. The girls are actively recruiting in local colleges and other sports clubs and watch out for them as they recruit in the local pubs and clubs!
Mini and Junior
The mini and junior section is a vibrant and growing part of the club’s activities, and is the cornerstone of our five year development plan. This is where it’s all happening and is by far the most important group in the club. These boys and girls, with quality coaching and support, will produce our club’s adult players. Our youth development plan has been approved by the RFU and we have been awarded RFU accreditation for being a well-run and managed sports club.
They are the club’s future.
First established in 1993 with only two age groups, we now field teams in most age groups. We have an on-going schools coaching/recruitment programme operated in conjunction with Buckinghamshire RFU and our community partner Wasps (the Aviva Premiership club). We regularly participate in local events such as the Chesham Schools Carnival which helps us create local awareness.
We place great emphasis on fair play and sportsmanship, and proudly claim that any child who turns up and wants to play, will get to play. There is no standing on the sidelines at Chesham. Gone are the days when we had half a dozen youngsters train on a Sunday morning. Our current youth membership is over 200 boys and girls. Plans are to increase youth membership to 300 over the next three years, with squads of 25 in each age group.
To complement our youth rugby we have recently introduced a Sunday morning indoor activity for the Under 5 age group. Called ‘Bugby’ these sessions introduce simple hand-eye and ball coordination, coupled with some fun games. We believe Bugby is unique in this area and it has proved popular with Mums and Dads when siblings are playing youth rugby.
Playing and Training Facilities
For the past 17 years Chesham Rugby Club has played at Chiltern Hills Academy in Chesham. We have two first-class rugby pitches, additional playing space for youth teams, and the use of a training area with lights. Over the years the club has funded ground drainage improvements, installed training lights, and built a member’s community clubroom. All this has been funded by club members and supported with RFU grants.
In 2011 the club surrendered its clubhouse lease to facilitate the rebuilding of the Academy premises. In 2013 the club will be using a community space in the main Academy building as our temporary clubhouse. We will be using the splendid new sports hall changing rooms and showers for our 2013/14 season.
We have assurance and encouragement from the Academy governors that they want Chesham Rugby Club to consider the Academy as our permanent home. We are negotiating a long-term lease and will then embark on the project to raise funds to build a community clubhouse in the Academy grounds, including our own dressing rooms and showers.
It has long been an ambition of the club to have its own ground and Clubhouse. Despite many efforts over the years this has not proved to be possible. Problems with planning permission, a lack of suitable sites, and fundraising have all contributed to a lack of success.
Despite this, the club has continued to prosper, and with the rebuilding of Chiltern Hills Academy this has presented us with a new opportunity to build a community clubhouse.
The Academy governors have said they will support our application to build a community clubhouse. This would include a social area, plus changing rooms and toilets – all of which will be more suitable for wet/outdoor sports use.
The RFU have indicated that they will be supportive of the project, but the club will also be required to make a significant funding contribution. More will emerge on this exciting project over the next few months.
Chesham Rugby Club will be based at Chiltern Hills Academy for the foreseeable future. We are embarking on a two year project, with the support of the governors, to raise funds to build our own community clubhouse. It’s important while this large funding project is underway that we do not neglect our youth development plan. Thus the need for us to identify additional sponsors.
Chesham Rugby Union Football Club Limited is a limited liability company, registered under the industrial and friendly societies act as a non-profit organisation. Any surplus funds must be reinvested in the club. We are also registered as a Community Association Sports Club (CASC). This means donations from UK tax payers entitle us to a further 25% contribution on top of the amount donated.