England head coach Stuart Lancaster encourages South Yorkshire clubs to sign up for NatWest Rugby Force 2015

England coach Stuart Lancaster helps out at Rugby Force
England coach Stuart Lancaster helps out at Rugby Force

England’s head coach Stuart Lancaster has urged local rugby clubs in South Yorkshire to sign up for NatWest RugbyForce 2015 before Sunday [January 11], to be in with a chance of receiving a financial support package up to the value of £1,500 to put towards their NatWest RugbyForce project.

The programme, developed in partnership with the RFU, is designed to make rugby clubs stronger businesses by improving their facilities with the support of volunteers and the local community.

Last year’s NatWest RugbyForce programme was a huge success, with over 400 clubs across England taking part in the DIY weekend in June. This year NatWest RugbyForce 2015 will be helping rugby clubs the length and breadth of the country to get ready to open their clubhouses and be the place to watch England play against some of the world’s greatest teams. It is an opportunity for clubs to get behind England, attract new members and become stronger and more sustainable for the future.

Lancaster said: “Most of our England players started their rugby journey at grassroots clubs and they really value the support that clubs and their members provide. This year’s NatWest RugbyForce is more than just the DIY weekend, it’s a chance for clubs across the country to show their support and really get behind England, to welcome new and existing volunteers and to be the place to watch England take on the best in the world. This year, clubs that sign up by the 11th January have the chance to attend workshops and receive funding as well as new ‘Get Behind England’ materials – so I’d encourage all clubs to get involved.”

Of the clubs that register before 11th January 2015, 350 will have the opportunity to take part in a new and improved programme of FREE workshops across the country, as well as be in with a chance of receiving financial support of £500 and a Get Behind England pack including a host of goodies to help transform the clubhouse. Following the workshops, clubs will be asked to submit more detailed project plans, from which clubs will be selected to receive a support package of either £1,000 or £500.

In addition, six clubs will be selected for The Ultimate Club Experience, comprising of an England Rugby Legend to join their NatWest RugbyForce weekend in June as well as The Ultimate Club Experience package, including a plasma screen, fun activities, events and materials to create a ‘little bit of Twickenham’ in their club.

“NatWest RugbyForce is a fantastic opportunity for communities to get together and support their local rugby club,” Lee Bailey, Sponsorship Manager at NatWest, added.

“Last year’s campaign was very successful and we’re really looking forward to building on this as we continue to show our commitment to supporting grassroots rugby clubs in what is going to be a massive year for English rugby.”

Steve Grainger, Rugby Development Director at the RFU added, “Hosting the Rugby World Cup later this year is a really exciting opportunity for us to grow the game across the country, especially in our grassroots rugby clubs and their local communities. In the NatWest RugbyForce programme we are giving clubs the chance to create the perfect environment to get behind England and inspire more people to get involved, whether that is as volunteer, player or supporter.”

To register your club for NatWest RugbyForce 2015, visit www.englandrugby.com/natwestrugbyforce.