4 Dec, 09:57
This Friday night coming, 6th December (kick-off 7.45pm), Midleton RFC host Sundays Well RFC in the All Ireland League "under lights" at Towns Park.
Having seen our Mini section at Ennis RFC go from strength to strength over the past number of years the rewards for sacrifice make it all very much worth while. Last season we had around 160 between under 8’s and under 12’s participating with our club. Over the past number of years we have been introducing improved structures in terms of coaching, player development and indeed additional facilities furthering our scope to continue growing.
This was recognised in 2008 with Ennis RFC being awarded the Munster Mini Club of the year.
Not content to sit on our laurels, with a new team of able coaches involved, we are embarking on strengthening our set up for the 2010/2011 season. We have set out clear objectives for the upcoming season ensuring we start as we mean to continue with various events planned throughout, creating a focus on the fun element of Mini Rugby.
Ennis has traditionally been immersed in GAA and Soccer so we felt that Ennis RFC mini section really needed to create a stir locally. 25 primary schools were canvassed within a 10 mile radius of Ennis with a poster and leaflet drop. With Rugby complementing the GAA season particularly, we were favourably received in all cases and for this we were unsurprised but very appreciative. We recently commenced training with over 120 kids on the first day (50% increase on previous first days), and we felt we needed a showpiece event in the early weeks to establish our commitment to the locality and to confirm our interest and enthusiasm for the year ahead.
Our Registration Day will comprise an under 12 Blitz with visiting teams and supervised activities for all children (all rugby orientated). Our ambition is to complete 75% of our administration on the day allowing us focus on rugby for the year; an opportunity to engage with parents, gear swapping facility and party for both children and parents alike.
We expect to register over 200 Mini players this year. Upon completion of registration each child will receive a booklet with all relevant information for the year ahead including all Mini fixtures; Club Junior fixtures; Munster fixtures; their unique IRFU number; a calendar of events amongst other useful information – a must have for all kids in our area. No other club provides such information in our locality.
Having had the opportunity to share our plans with Fiach O'Loughlin (Community Rugby Office - Munster) and Ultan O'Callaghan (Domestic Rugby Manager – Munster Rugby), they have put their full support behind all initiatives and indeed receiving their endorsement has certainly further motivated our team of 20 Mini coaches to provide their time to the club both on and off the field of play. On behalf of our coaching team we thank them for their input and continued support.
Last year we introduced a second training session on Friday evenings on our Astro Turf facility for skills training and this proved very popular – this will continue going forward. This year we are also introducing a social programme with various events – Halloween and Christmas Parties, quiz nights, tour of Thomond Park and Munster Museum amongst other initiatives.
Traditionally we would have finished the season with a fun day. However this year we are planning to incorporate this into a showpiece Clare Rugby Blitz for the Mini sections for all clubs in the county thus ensuring rugby is at the centre of all our activities going forward.
So certainly, an exciting year ahead for the Mini section in Ennis RFC. With all our coaches now either qualified or booked on an upcoming course, we feel we are in a stronger position than ever to take our clubs mini section to the next level and facilitate the continued development of our youngest participants.