Welcome to our inaugural Belsize Blog post. We’ll use this to keep you updated on club news, stories from players, team content and much more. If you’ve got an idea for a post get in touch with our new Head of Marketing, Becca Hone.
For the inaugural post, I wanted to share my vision for the rugby at Belsize having taken on the DoR over the summer. I’m fortunate to be building on an incredible platform set by Zach and others. However, elsewhere things are less rosy with clubs shrinking around us amid the challenges facing the game post COVID.
Three months into the role and I’m confident that we’re set to take the club to the next level, and here are some of the changes that I think will help us get there:
Club Integration – with the men’s section back to 5+ teams and the women’s section putting two sides out, we’re bigger than ever! Now we want to make sure we’re integrated across the club. To do that we’re looking at less separation at training, simplifying the squads, more joint socials and a bigger push to go and watch each other across the weekends. We’re also pushing for greater integration with the Regent’s Park Royals to build our fanbase and hopefully recruit future players to Belsize.
Leadership – in the men’s section, our biggest goal this year is to become more ‘player lead’ and create a squad feel, rather than 5 teams independent of each other. That’s why we have consolidated into two squads – performance and open – with the appointment of squad leaders, so players can take a more active role in driving club standards and have a greater platform to raise ideas. The player leadership model has also been reflected in the coaches, with former players such as David Southcombe, Nathan Thoday, Conor McGrath and Sam Atkins stepping up. The coaching set up has also been boosted by the arrival of James Platt from Richmond, with a mandate alongside the senior coaches to play the rugby the players want!
The women’s squads have now been lead by Ralph Waghorn since 2020 and between him and Enrico Borra and with the support of Francis Morris, our women’s section is going from strength to strength, with enough women to now regularly field 2 squads at weekends!
Media & Social – we want the scale of the club to be reflected on socials to attract more players and sponsors. To do that we want to massively increase the amount of match day content, where possible getting scores, videos and interviews from every game. So far the feedback has been great, but we love more people to get involved and help Becca and the team. We also want to pick up the energy on post game socials, with more, better advertised events through the year. If you’ve got an idea, get in touch with Shirley who is doing a great job across the club. Finally, hopefully you’ll now all have visited the Locke Tavern, our new home venue. It’s a cracking pub, with a great atmosphere, where we’ll hopefully be for the long term. Just remember to always remain respectful of the staff and other customers.
Making your lives easier – process is never going to be the sexiest topic, but its what keeps the club running. Following feedback we’ve brought team announcements forward, moved on to Spond to better connect playing and socials and are trying to keep the admin off the WhatsApp….leaving more room for rubbish banter.!
As ever, we hugely appreciate your feedback. Get in touch with ideas or suggestions and most importantly get your mates down to Belsize. Hope to see as many of you on the field weekend!
Director of Rugby