Head of community Connor Fleming is confident Northampton Saints’ new Club Affiliation Initiative will help to build stronger links within grassroots rugby clubs across the East Midlands and Eastern Counties.
The new scheme aims to build even closer links with local RFU-accredited rugby clubs who host mini/junior sections, and ultimately to establish a network of grassroots clubs which will be supported in their development to make rugby more accessible for all.
Each local club will be represented by a ‘Saints Ambassador’, who will work with the Community department at Franklin’s Gardens on various development opportunities.
“This initiative will enable us to work closely with clubs to support both their on and off-field development across junior and senior sections.”Connor Fleming, Head of Community
All affiliated clubs will also receive two Northampton Saints season tickets so that they can reward their own volunteers, coaches, players or other staff for their hard work throughout the season with a day out to watch the men in Black, Green and Gold at Franklin’s Gardens.
“It’s really important for Northampton Saints to have a close involvement in supporting grassroots clubs,” said Fleming.
“This initiative will enable us to work closely with a number of clubs in the area to support both their on and off-field development across junior and senior sections.
“We’ll be focusing on areas such as coach development, growing and retaining their current player base, establishing and strengthening links with local schools or partners, and sharing best practice to develop marketing, sponsorship and facility functions.”
The first local club announced as an affiliate club is Brackley RFC, with Gary Cummings named as their Saints Ambassador.
The Club Affiliation Initiative begins initially with a handful of sides this season, but will expand during the coming seasons and welcome more and more clubs to join.
Fleming added: “While to begin with this scheme is open to only a handful of clubs as we work through the pilot, this does not mean that we will be withdrawing any support or regular communication with any clubs that are not affiliated.
“We’ll always do our best to stay in contact with as many of the clubs as we possibly can across the region, and encourage all clubs to do the same.”
To learn more about the Club Affiliation Scheme, please contact [email protected].