Driving Rugby Forward – YRA Conference 2016
1 December 2016
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This year’s Young Rugby Ambassadors’ Conference was held in Birmingham and I was asked by organiser Jenny Box to take part along with Louise Latter from Middlesex RFU and a number of RFU staff. About 60 YRAs from around the country turned up and Jenny introduced the day then asked me to say a few words, which to my surprise seemed to go down quite well.
The YRAs were split into two groups, one of them having a presentation about the v-inspired programme, a youth volunteering charity that provides volunteering opportunities for 14 to 25 year olds and which supports the YRA project. More information is at vinspired.com
The other group were put through a series of Apprentice style tasks with yours truly taking the Lord Sugar role. I got into character and had Karren and Claude as sidekicks. The group was divided into groups of three to six people and they all trouped into the boardroom for a briefing. They were given 90 minutes to complete six tasks starting with electing a chair and coming up with a name, logo and motto for their club. After 10 minutes I blew a whistle and each group had fifteen seconds to get someone to my boardroom to collect the next task which involved setting up a committee and allocating roles of Hon Secretary, President, etc.
Ten minutes later the whistle would go again and a third task would be given, this time to have a two committee meetings during the session and so on until they had a total of six tasks, many of them running concurrently. This is to give a sense of what it is like to keep several balls in the air at once and the pressure to prioritise. The video at the end gives a good idea of how the day went.
The conference finished with YRAs being presented with certificates and various items of stash, varying from beanies and polos to jackets depending on how may volunteering hours they had recorded.
I have seen some of the candidates since the conference and they all said what a good time they had and learnt something about running a club. I certainly had a great day.
Link to some great pictures from the day courtesy of Leo Wilkinson Photography