Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Work on the Artificial Grass Pitch Gets Underway at Stourton Park

















For those of you who've visited Stourton Park in the last week or so, you'll have noticed a big change to the First XV pitch!

Work has begun on the Artificial Grass Pitch (AGP), part of the RFU's Rugby 365 initiative and is scheduled to be finished early in the new season.

This is an exciting development for Stourbridge Rugby, reducing the chance of games and training sessions being cancelled due to weather conditions; and generally increasing the amount of rugby played at the Club. It will also provide a facility for local Clubs that need to train or catch up with league fixtures if their own pitches are unplayable.

PLEASE NOTE: If you are looking at new boots for the coming season, BLADES will NOT be permitted on the AGP.  Rules and guidelines for the use of the AGP will be posted here and on the website in dues course.

Below is the RFU's general press release that was sent out last week:









New RFU Artificial Grass Pitch in the West Midlands

  • Stourbridge Rugby Club to benefit from Rugby 365 artificial grass pitch from next season
  • Booking site open to the public on August 19 at www.englandrugby.com/rugby365

The West Midlands is set to benefit from a RFU Rugby 365 floodlit artificial grass pitch (AGP) due for completion in time for next season. The pitch is part of the RFU’s Rugby World Cup 2015 legacy of delivering over £50m investment over four years into the development of 100 AGPs across England.

The new facility will provide clubs across the West Midlands community the chance to benefit from year-round rugby through the durability of the floodlit surface which will enable additional training sessions and more flexibility in playing times. As a result, the pitch is expected to increase rugby participation across clubs and community groups, further growing the sport.

At Stourbridge Rugby Club we are delighted to be working with the RFU and to have been selected to host their artificial grass pitch”, said Robin Edwards, Chairman of Stourbridge Rugby Football Club.

He adds “We believe it will prove to be an excellent facility, which will enhance the local playing experience and provide a reliable surface that should encourage open running rugby. The opportunity to use a pitch frequently without the usual concerns about extensive maintenance is a novelty we are keen to experience. We hope to attract players of all ages and abilities from across the community to enjoy playing rugby on this new surface.” 

Three additional Rugby 365 Artificial Grass Pitches are also set for completion by next season in Cambridgeshire, Durham and West Yorkshire.

The AGPs will be located at host clubs Keighley RUFC, Billingham Rugby Club and Shelford Rugby Club and follow on from completion of the first three AGPs in Buckinghamshire, Somerset and Lancashire at the end of last year.

England Rugby’s investment in AGPs is part of their Rugby World Cup 2015 legacy of delivering over £50m over four years into the development of 100 AGPs across England.

In four months of on-season usage since the first three Rugby 365 pitches opened in January, they have hosted over 250 matches and more than 30 festivals of rugby with a combined footfall of 20,000 players enjoying the experience.

The pitches are a community facility for all clubs, players and teams from across the area to benefit from and enjoy. Testament to the growth of the women’s game, one third of all bookings have involved women and girls and a third of bookings are by non-senior teams, showing great appetite from youth players.

“We hope the local community will embrace the new AGP and take advantage of the additional opportunities it provides people to play year-round rugby,” said Steve Grainger, RFU Rugby Development Director.

He adds “Since launching our first sites in January we have seen local clubs, schools and teams from across the local areas all embracing the opportunity to play on the world-class facilities without weather, darkness or lack of pitch access limiting their ability to enjoy this great game.”

Alongside the Rugby 365 programme, the RFU is investing £10m over four years into partner organisations to part-fund 40 Rugby Share pitches on community sites. The University of Hull and University of Gloucestershire are due for completion by next season and will offer even greater access to rugby across their respective communities through multi-sport AGP playing surfaces.

For more information on Artificial Grass Pitches, and to book a pitch near you, go to www.englandrugby.com/rugby365

Here's a few pics of the progress so far...





...and here's a few pics from the recent AGP installation at Preston Grasshoppers.





Thursday, 6 July 2017

Pre-Season Training Gets Underway at Stour




















On Saturday 1st July, the weather couldn't have been better for Stour's first training day of the 2017-18 pre-season.

The First and Lions XV came together for a fitness and skills session lasting over two hours on the Lions pitch and in the gym. The session was followed by a BBQ (ably cooked by Director of Rugby, Neil Mitchell and his sous-chef, Miles Edge).

The 2017-18 season promises to be an exciting one for Stour's teams. An Artificial Grass Pitch will replace the First XV pitch at the start of the season, ensuring that no games will be cancelled and encouraging open, running rugby; and with the Lions newly promoted to Level 6, just 2 levels below the First XV, the Club has never been stronger.

If you'd like to get involved with Stourbridge Rugby as a player, supporter, Club member or sponsor, please give the Club Office a call on 01384 395000.

We look forward to hearing from you soon.











Monday, 26 June 2017

Mitch's Address from the #SRFCMayLunch Programme

























Ladies and Gentlemen, on behalf of all of the players and staff at Stourbridge Rugby Club, I welcome all of our sponsors, guests and a considerable number of new friends to our annual corporate lunch. This prestigious event has gone from strength-to-strength and this year we have a record number of attendees. It is your support that makes the club viable and enables us to play rugby.

There can be little doubt that our selection of speakers this afternoon has attracted attention and hosting Eddie Jones has been a big factor in increasing our numbers following his outstanding record in English Rugby, producing two Six Nations Championships and almost eclipsing, but certainly equalling the All Blacks record unbeaten run of 18 games. I shall be hoping for any pearls of wisdom that we can use in our campaign next year.

Keeping up with the Joneses is essential this afternoon, as we will hear from Lord Jones of Birmingham; Digby will no doubt cater for our huge regional business contingent. He is a former Director of the CBI with global influence in business and proudly a West Midlands man through and through. He regularly played devil’s advocate with his rationale and balance during the Brexit campaign and was the reason I voted out! Surely the fact we have such a high percentage of corporate business people here this afternoon shows that Midlands business is booming, at least in our conurbation. We don’t offer any political position on Brexit with the menu today but we can expect a ‘bostin’ lunch and an interesting afternoon ahead. We would like to stay well away from any form of election…

John Bentley has been our Master of Ceremonies here for the last four years and he tells me it is by far his favourite gig. I suspect he may say this to all the DoRs! The former British Lion will no doubt command the afternoon with his quintessentially northern, uniquely blunt and subtle style, I for one hope John continues to grace us with his presence and his humour here at Stourton for many years to come.

I offer thanks to all our sponsors and special guests for their continued support, the local rugby scene changes frequently and we are constantly looking to develop relationships with other clubs that have a similar ethos. The network of Midlands clubs providing player development opportunities and exchanges is something we are keen to promote and participate in. We are delighted to have a representative contingent from Wasps here today and it is most impressive that they can bring the Heineken Cup with them. The experience of watching a match at The Ricoh is truly a benchmark for other clubs to emulate.

This event could not take place without the huge amount of work and preparation that ensures the smooth running of the day. Miles, Lou, Donna, Helen and Laura have done a fantastic job in putting both the Corporate Lunch and May Ball together. You are a credit to our club and thanks for all your efforts. There are also a plethora of unsung volunteers who work in the background to make this all happen - thanks for what you do!

I have been looking forward to this afternoon with huge anticipation. I hope you all enjoy the day and support us again next year, both on and off the field.Enjoy the day!

Mitch
Neil Mitchell
Director of Rugby - Stourbridge Rugby

Thursday, 22 June 2017

President's Address... from the Corporate Business Lunch Programme


























Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. It is my pleasure to welcome so many people here to our May Corporate Lunch and I trust that you all have a very enjoyable time at Stourton Park.


Stourbridge RFC is very proud of these facilities. Many years of hard work and detailed planning has gone into getting us where we are today. Already much work is going into next year’s improvement projects that could include the installation of an Artifi cial Grass Pitch to replace the traditional grass pitch in front of the Clubhouse. This would be an arrangement with RFU and will be a tremendous facility for us to offer to our members and the local community. As ever, lots of preparation has gone into this project by several members of the Stourbridge Committee. This will hopefully be available for the start of next season and will help to enable a high standard of skilful rugby to be played irrespective of the weather. It should give all our players more opportunities to play on a perfect surface and it will also enable others to use the facilities through a web booking system.

Talking of preparation this leads me onto a key theme today, the preparation done by our Rugby Coaches. I was once told, fail to prepare then prepare to fail. This is so true, and on this subject, we have three of the best in the business with us today, perhaps it’s the Australian infl uence that makes each prepare meticulously. All three guys came out of the Randwick club in Sydney - Eddie Jones, Glen Ella and our very own Rod Petty. What a terrific job Eddie has done in turning around England’s fortunes and Glen, a past coach of Stourbridge and about to assist Eddie with England’s attacking force for the summer tour of Argentina. Rod, also a perfectionist, works hard at preparing our lads to perform to their best week in week out. Our players have been lucky to have benefi ted from the Australian influence of Glen and Rod and they have no doubt themselves learnt from coaching at Stourbridge. So, two out of three have already coached at Stourbridge - Eddie feel free to call the club at any time... Well done to you all and keep up the excellent work.

On the playing front this season, the 1st XV, having lived with the best for two thirds of the season have tailed off over the past couple of months. This shows that strength in depth is required if we are to push for promotion next year and there is a need to ensure competitive matches are regularly available for all squad members. The Lions have had a great season, winning their league and being promoted to level 6, which will enable greater movement of players between the two clubs next season. The tremendous Lions spirit and enjoyment of the game is infectious and we hope to benefit from this for many seasons to come. The Greyhounds also won their league and gained promotion, the Colts have performed strongly and the M&J section continues to fl ourish and has been very successful in all age groups. What a great credit this is to all players, coaches, helpers and supporters throughout the whole club.

Socially the club is growing together as the family atmosphere is back. Our two big events, this May weekend and the Bonfire Night, have both exceeded expectations and the club has had many other enjoyable events during the year. This has been largely down to the very hard work of Miles Edge, Robin Edwards and Louise Price, ably supported by Sharon Dickens in the offi ce and Bar & Catering staff who have all worked tirelessly. Very recently we have also seen the return of Donna Tromans as Hospitality Manager who will no doubt take us to another level.

Welcome back Donna...

All the hard work that is necessary to run a successful club sometimes goes unnoticed and behind the scenes we would welcome any member who would like to volunteer in whatever capacity for next season to step forward. Stourbridge RFC is a very special club and has been a very special place to me for many years. It is about all members focussed and pulling together to create a great  atmosphere and environment for us to enjoy. Long may it continue and thanks again for your support today.

Nick Perry
President - Stourbridge RFC


Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Thank you to Sponsors and Supporters of Stourbridge Rugby











A BIG Thank you to everyone who has supported Stourbridge Rugby in the 2016-17 season, whether you are a major sponsor, or a supporter who has braved the elements in the middle of Winter to shout for one of our teams.

It's been an incredible season, made all the better with the Lions finishing Champions of Midlands 2 West (North), with an emphatic win at Newcastle (Staffs). Next season they will be playing in Midlands 1 West, just 2 levels below the First XV.

With the Greyhounds finishing 2nd, the Hoppers and Colts 3rd in their respective leagues; and the Colts and Under 15s lifting the Cups in two different knockout competitions; there's been plenty to celebrate.

Here's a list of our 2016-17 Honours: 

First XV8th place, National 2 North
Lions XVChampions, Midlands 2 West (North)
Greyhounds XV2nd place, Midlands Reserve League 3
Grasshoppers XV3rd place, Worcs & Hereford Merit League 2 
Colts XV3rd Place, North Mids Colts League 2
Colts XVChampions, Fred Rowley Cup
Under 15sChampions, North Mids Cup
Under 11sFair Play Trophy, Gallis (North Mids) Cup
From everyone involved at Stourbridge Rugby, thank you for your continued support. The 2017-18 season promises to be even better!

#WeAreStour

Friday, 9 June 2017

Chairman's Welcome... from the Corporate Business Lunch Programme

























“G’day” seems an appropriate welcome for our premier corporate event this year. You may notice more than a hint of the antipodean influence during the day and we hope this triggers your own favourite Aussie memories and the friendships you have made through rugby. It is this global camaraderie that we value and support throughout our approach to the game. Stourbridge RFC has built a reputation as a club eager to reach out and participate, promoting the development of rugby and combining our sporting and business interests together. The foresight and hard work to drive the club has been expertly engineered by John and Jacqueline Jeavons-Fellows the founders and patrons of this event.

Our thanks go to our main sponsors for this event; A&H Construction, Old Mutual Wealth and Marston’s, their support is much appreciated and we hope they will continue to enjoy their association with our club. For those of you who are new to this venue we host many other events, usually in the clubhouse, during the year and you would be very welcome to come along and enjoy the ambiance. There are a variety of sponsorship options available providing your business with an opportunity to become involved with Stourbridge Rugby. Our presence on social media is growing apace and this could be a useful source of information and a vehicle for promoting your business. Please pick up a leaflet for more details.

Traditionally the President comments on rugby matters and you will find his views later in this programme. It is inevitable that we mention the outstanding recent achievements of the England Rugby teams that have certainly attracted attention across the World, we hope to discover the secrets of this success from our guests. We will certainly be listening carefully for any advice that they may impart.For the proceedings today we will be led by the familiar figure of John Bentley MC, a British Lion and an international in both codes. His gentle and delicate approach to the subtle art of three-quarter play is a delight for most forwards. He tells it like it is.

We will hear from Digby, Lord Jones of Birmingham who lists amongst his stellar career Head Boy of Bromsgrove School (expelled), Former Director-General of the Confederation of British Industry, being an ardent Brexiteer, and a Leicester Tigers supporter. Which of these diverse interests will flavour his address we wonder?

We are also delighted to have a professional auctioneer amongst us today. Kidderminster born, Phil ‘the Fox’ Serrell, to use his official TV title, is no stranger to many of us who are glued to the daytime television episodes of Bargain Hunt, Antiques Road Trip, etc. His task will be to bring order to our auction that traditionally has been run on a strictly amateur basis.

We consider ourselves fortunate to have been working closely with the RFU and their expert advice and guidance has been influential in developing our facilities. The addition of new floodlights to the training pitches and the exciting prospect of hosting an artificial grass pitch are examples of how their involvement is reaching clubs like ours and making a difference to sporting opportunities for the local community. Our aim is to involve local people in rugby and encourage them to take an active part in sporting activities.

We sincerely hope you will enjoy our biggest ever formal gathering and use this opportunity to socialise. For many of us it will be an opportunity to remind ourselves of how great we were as players, thankfully there were fewer videos in those days.




I draw your attention to my favourite photograph of the 1991 World Cup Final, Stourbridge supporters anticipating the big event with a rather under-developed Twickenham in the background. How many of these people you can name and how many you can find at this event today? For a bonus point how many tickets did they have between them?

Answers to Ceri Davies -#smartalec #knowall

Robin EdwardsChairman SRFC

Monday, 15 May 2017

The Stourbridge Rugby May Weekend 2017


















Friday 5th to Sunday 6th May 2017

After months of meticulous planning and hard work by Stourbridge Rugby staff and volunteers, the biggest events in the Club’s social calendar were finally upon us - the May Weekend 2017.

It kicked off with the Corporate Business Lunch, the largest social gathering ever staged at Stourton Park. Over 1500 attended the lunch, an increase of over 600 on last year. The fact that Eddie Jones, Glen Ella and Lord Digby Jones were the key speakers could have had something to do with this increase in demand!

On arrival, Eddie and Glen went into a Q&A session with some of our Mini & Junior Coaches and the local press, followed by a coaching session with our Under 12 and Under 15 age groups - 30 minutes of their Rugby careers they’ll never forget.

Catering for 1500 people is no mean feat, but the whole afternoon could not have gone better. Ex-British & Irish Lion, John Bentley, seamlessly tied proceedings together as MC; Lord Digby Jones waxed lyrical about business and rugby; Eddie and Glen made a great double-act on stage; and enigmatic Philip Serrell held court for the auction. This will be a Stourbridge Corporate Lunch that lives long in everyone’s memory.

The hard work didn’t stop there. First of all the clean up, then setting the marquee back up for the Ball. With over 500 people attending the Ball, it was another fun-packed night of food, drink and entertainment.

Then onto Sunday - another clean up and The Stacey Hurrell Testimonial match between the Stourbridge Dream Team and the Avatar Barbarians. Past and current Stourbridge players and a host of rugby stars turned out to play and help raise money for Robbie Hurrell’s wife Stacey, who needs treatment for MS. A carnival atmosphere surrounded the game and we were all treated to proper Barbarians rugby, with the Dream Team narrowly coming out on top with 110 points scored - final score 57-53 to the Dream Team.

A fantastic day for a great cause and a brilliant way to round off a spectacular weekend.