RFU Representative Annual Report
12 June 2011
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This is the second of three annual reports I wrote for the Eastern Counties Rugby 2010/11 Annual Report.
This report was written before John Steele left the RFU
2010/11 ANNUAL REPORT
This is my third season on the RFU Council and although in many respects I feel I am still a new boy at Twickenham, I have settled in to the various protocols, procedures and ways of working. The advent of John Steele as CEO has seen change sweep through the RFU and I believe it will be a better organisation as a result. The focus will be very much on ‘The Rugby Experience’ whether it is as a player, coach, referee, volunteer or supporter.
The RFU hasn’t done itself any favours in recent weeks with negative press reports about the appointment of the Rugby Performance Director. The ‘will he, won’t he’ speculation surrounding Clive Woodward has been damaging and the further delay in the process has not helped. However, the RFU is strong financially, the young England squad is improving season by season and John Steele is already looking forward to 2015 when Twickenham will host the Rugby World Cup and all the benefits to the game nationally which that will bring.
Last season I was asked to chair the CB Planning, Funding & Reporting Task Group and that has taken up most of my time when I’m at Twickenham. The group is tasked with putting in place a process to simplify the funding of Constituent Bodies (CBs) such as Eastern Counties through a single plan to be used by volunteers and staff. I didn’t realise at the time how far-reaching the effects this work is having and how dramatically it is changing the way the community game is funded. It is a challenging task but one that I am enjoying.
In all I have spent 45 days on RFU business this season and I must thank my employers for allowing me to take the time off. However, my ideal weekend must include watching a game from the touchline of a local club and talking to local volunteers about local issues, so I’m pleased to have managed to fit in 35 visits to 29 different Eastern Counties clubs, plus the Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk committees.
I believe one of my key roles is to communicate to clubs what is happening at Twickenham and I have continued to produce briefings after every RFU Council meeting including notes of what was discussed. I know my Twitter and Facebook feeds are followed by a significant number of people around Eastern Counties but in January I embraced another new technology by starting a blog. It is a web-based account of my thoughts and opinions about the game locally and nationally where I have published over 20 articles so far and I hope to continue to write one or two per month. You can take a look if you are interested at https://asarek.wordpress.com
Like all of us I am looking forward to the upcoming Rugby World Cup season and the challenges that will no doubt arise for the RFU, England, Eastern Counties and the grass-roots game.
Andrew Sarek – RFU Council Member (Eastern Counties)