May 25 2013 Latest news:
Damion Roberts, Sports editor
Friday, September 2, 2011
Hitchin become first Hertfordshire club to be awarded prestigious accolade
Hitchin Rugby Club have become the first club in Hertfordshire and one of the first in the country to be awarded the most prestigious accreditation available in the game, the RFU Whole Club Seal of Approval.
To celebrate their achievement and to mark the run-up to the Rugby World Cup, the club is hosting a Weekend of Rugby on September 10-11.
Hitchin was the first club in the county to receive the Seal of Approval for Mini & Youth rugby, but this is a step up.
This new accreditation requires clubs to provide evidence of good practice throughout the club and the Seal of Approval award recognises the effort and achievement of the club’s many volunteers in achieving the standards needed in developing and sustaining rugby union in the town.
It’s taken a year of hard work to ensure the correct procedures and training were in place and the club recognises the immense amount of work put in by club members Glenn and Sam Cooper in putting the submission together.
The WCSoA was introduced in 2009 and builds on established Seal of Approval awards for provision of youth rugby. The new accreditation requires clubs to provide evidence of good practice in areas such as club management, player development and recruitment, child protection, sports equity, coaching and refereeing, as well as the recruitment and management of volunteers.
It means parents of the club’s players can be reassured that Hitchin is a well-run club that provides rugby in a safe and positive environment.
Hitchin has worked closely with Peter Engledow, the rugby development officer for Hertfordshire, whose primary role is to support clubs and the local community in developing the provision of rugby union.
Engledow has been instrumental in ensuring the club complied with all the requirements but at all times has taken a sensible, patient and practical view.
Speaking about the award, Hitchin RFC chairman Richard Stidolph said: “The WCSoA recognises that Hitchin RFC has developed strong links with the community notably with the mini and youth section and links with schools, hosting competitions and training sessions for schools in the local area.
“Our Weekend of Rugby on September 10-11 offers an opportunity for everyone to see for themselves just how special our club is.
“Like all clubs we rely on the hard work of volunteers and this award recognizes all the work that takes place by volunteers at the club. As a club we are always striving to develop and improve and obtaining the WCSoA shows we are succeeding.”