There was a double celebration for Haverhill Rugby Club chairman Rachel Brown on Saturday, her birthday, and the club being awarded its RFU Accreditation status, the final Suffolk club to achieve the award.
The award was presented by Chloe McMorran, RFU Development Officer for Suffolk and Cambridgeshire (to see the photo of the presentation turn to page 37). “It’s a brilliant achievement,” she said.
“The club has done an incredible job over the last 18 months, and there is a real drive at the club to better itself.”
Ms Brown said: “This award is for everybody at the club.
“It will propel us forward to be an attractive club for new players – juniors, youth and seniors.
“There is a real good base for us to attract players and play competitive rugby.”
The club has ambitious plans, both on and off the field.
Plans in the pipeline include improving the first team pitch and putting in a floodlit training area.
Currently training takes place at the town’s sports centre.
Last season the club ran just one team. But with coach Jake Jeffs already planning for next season, and some new players looking set to join the club, Haverhill will be running two.
“The accreditation process is a club development tool,” said Ms McMorran.
“It’s not just a tick-box exercise.
“It shows that the club is in the best position it could be in terms of facilities, management, governance and increasing the number of players.”
John Winders, chairman of the Club Development Group at Eastern Counties RU, said: “Haverhill is the 40th club in the Eastern Counties to have achieved this status.
“This reflects the strength of our game and the hard work being undertaken by volunteers and the RFU’s professional staff. The future looks bright.”