Chichester Rugby Club have become the first in West Sussex – and only the second in Sussex – to be awarded the RFU’s Whole Club Seal of Approval.
The award requires outstanding effort and achievements by volunteers in achieving the standards needed to develop and sustain the sport at their club and Chichester join a select group of 85 nationwide to be recognised been the RFU in this way.
Club chairman Keith Martin said the club had benefitted from a group of people, led by Dan Munro, getting together to complete an audit of the club`s sections, management and procedures.
This provided evidence of good practice in areas such as club management, player development and recruitment, child equity, coaching and refereeing as well as the recruitment and management of volunteers.
Martin said the award recognised the amount of time volunteers put in both for the senior section and the mini/junior section – the latter now having more than 450 youngsters playing each week under the tutelage of 100-plus coaches.
Chichester run five senior teams, three colts teams and a colts academy at Chichester College. The club also provide coaching in secondary and primary schools as well as rugby camps in Midhurst, Tangmere and Selsey through rugby development officer Rob Lawrence.
Martin said: “I’m extremely proud to be chairman of such a progressive and successful club – one that’s putting the city of Chichester on the rugby map.”
The seal of approval award was handed over by Sussex RFU president Peter Bailey at a pre-match lunch which was also a chance for the club to thank their sponsors.
Those present included the Mayor of Chichester, Tony French, chairman of Chichester District Council Peter Clementson, Charlie Knight, MD of Oval Insurance Broking, and Barry Sampson, MD of Seaward Properties.
Both Oval and Seaward have sponsored the club for more than a decade and were presented with framed club shirts.