Report on 2021/20 Season for Castelford RUFC Juniors
After the many problems we faced caused by Covid, the Juniors seem to have bounced back stronger than ever! We currently have around 48 junior players (an all time high in recent years). We as a junior section through hard work and determination have kept our old players and attracted new ones. Lots of new families have been introduced to Rugby Union and they are spreading the word what a great junior section and indeed club we are.
Our Tags have had an amazing season, and for some it has been their first taste of competitive rugby, playing many teams including Middleton Corinthians, Doncaster Knights and Littleborough. I feel we have achieved our ultimate goal for the Tags - to enjoy the game, keep smiling whatever the result and look forward to the next game. A few of our Tags have moved up to the U9’s leaving us with 5 Tags at present. 4 girls and 1 boy. All are excited for the next season already.
Our U10’s have had an equally impressive season. Playing teams such as Moortown, Cleckheaton and Wheatley Hills. They continue to build as a team with each game. A change to the coaching staff mid-season didn’t faze them and they have gone from strength to strength. We hope to recruit more players for this age group going forward.
At the start of the season the U11’s was a very small team. However, through word of mouth and reputation we have strengthened the team to 13. This season has seen the U11’s take on teams such as Doncaster, Bradford Salem and a curtain raiser at Barnsley. At the end of the season, we have had to say farewell to 3 players who will be moving on to join the girls team. These are Daisy Carter, Courtney Bryant and Sophie Brierley. We wish them every success in the next chapter of their rugby career and I know the whole team and the junior section will miss them terribly.
The U13’s have also had a cracking season, taking on teams such as Wath upon Dearne, Thorne and Morley. As well as attending 2 festivals, Doncaster and Sandal. The season started with the team being low on numbers and suffering a few disheartening defeats. However, with determination and parents help we turned this around to finish the season with a 17 strong side and many well-deserved victories. We welcomed a touring side to the club The Wirral, and have since been invited to attend their ground as they were impressed by our players and our ethos. For next season we have recruited two more coaches for the team, these coaches will concentrate on strengthening the forwards, whilst the backs will also have training more focused on their role in the team. With 3 new players joining at pre-season training, we feel the U14’s will be in good form at the start of the season ready to challenge for The Yorkshire Cup.
Through fundraising efforts, we have been able to take the juniors for an end of season treat sledging at Snozone in Xscape. This is for the players and coaches alike. It will be an ideal opportunity to strengthen even further the team bonds and for the players to have some much deserved fun. Other team building exercises for the off season include Football Golf.
The Junior section are excited for the next season. We are looking forward to welcoming new players and families and for the older ones the Yorkshire Cup. We are currently on with a promotional video to share on social media reaching schools and community groups. We have learnt from this season that our best recruitment tool is word of mouth. Once we get new families to come and give us a try, they are impressed with the warmth and friendliness from the junior section and equally by our facilities. More importantly they appreciate our commitment to their children, and they ultimately become members. We have also forged a very good relationship with Rodillian High School, and have a number of their students joining us at Castleford.
Lastly, but by no means least. I wish to thank all our volunteers and helpers behind the scenes, whom without none of this would be possible. Our coaches, TLM’s, kitchen staff, and bar staff. A big thank you too to our parents and carers for supporting the club and standing at the side-lines cheering the juniors on whatever the weather has in store for us.
An extra special and the biggest thank you has to go to our players. You are the reason we do what we do and you make us all so very proud. 😊.
Nicola Ruddock – Junior Chairperson.