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Colts players make progress to strengthen ranks

Oakham v Stamford rugby (3968915)
Oakham v Stamford rugby (3968915)

Stamford Rugby Club officials are predicting an exciting season ahead as they look to bounce back from last season’s relegation.

They will be competing in Midlands 3 East (South) this season after an injury-hit campaign last year which saw the first team win just two of their 22 league games.

A home test against Birstall opens the campaign on Saturday following a 41-22 derby victory over Oakham last weekend in a pre-season friendly.

Their squad has been strengthened for the coming campaign by a clutch of players progressing from last season’s colts side who enjoyed a cracking year.

Senior coach Matt Albinson commented: “We’ve got a great young squad working really hard and having lots of fun — they’re going to stay injury free and play some great attacking rugby.”

Progression through the ranks is high on their agenda with an ever-expanding youth section helping to keep the club thriving.

Vice-chairman Mark Anderson explained: “Over recent years Stamford Rugby Club has seen the development and growing strength of our mini, junior and colts section.

“Players benefit from excellent coaches who are qualified and further developed by the RFU and our own coaching development programmes.

“Numbers have steadily increased and with this we have looked to create more ways for their families to gain experiences from the club.

“We have a host of plans for future events where the whole club can come together to enjoy the ‘one club’ ethos.

“This starts with our ‘One Club’ weekend on Friday, Saturday and Sunday where we will be hosting a mini/junior open day on the Sunday.

“The club continues to try and offer the best possible experiences for its volunteers, parents and players with lots of work being done to improve the quality of coaching and medical coverage in particular.”

Head of Rugby David Laventure added: “We want the club to be about the best playing experience whatever level and that requires the best coaching and medical provision we can provide- that’s the challenge we are currently enjoying trying to meet.”

Off the pitch, the club has invested in a development officer who will look to strengthen their links with the various schools, colleges and institutions.

Planning permission has also been granted for the development of a new clubhouse and facility on the Empingham Road site.

The facility will be designed to enhance the provision for the members and community in a social and sporting context with bars function rooms and excellent changing facilities.

Club chairman Ross Thain commented: “Over the last few weeks, two aims of the committee have come to fruition.

“Firstly, gaining planning consent for the new clubhouse and, secondly, the appointment of a club development officer.

“We had a number of outstanding applicants, including from within the club itself, but have appointed Maria Crowfoot who comes to us on a two-day a week basis.

“Her role is to help promote the club locally and ensure our members get the best possible experience from both playing rugby and the wider club opportunities.

“This is going to be a really exciting season with more teams and events than we have had in recent times.”

The ‘One Club’ weekend features a beer festival, touch tournament, live music, first home games for the men’s and women’s teams as well as the mini and junior open day.

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