The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), title sponsor of the RBS 6 Nations, created RBS RugbyForce three years ago to encourage communities to come together and give something back to their local rugby club by volunteering to undertake the necessary improvements. The programme has seen a phenomenal rise in the number of club registrations year on year.
Hendy RFC was one of 398 rugby clubs registered for the programme in 2011, each submitting a 500 word proposal for club project work planned for the official RBS RugbyForce Weekend on 11th and 12th June this summer. 40 clubs in Wales registered for the programme and will be calling on their supporters and local volunteers to join in the fun-filled activity and renovation work at their club.
The official panel of judges, who had the difficult job of assessing the 398 registrations, was formed of RBS RugbyForce supporters Ieuan Evans, Jason Leonard and Andy Nicol as well as Rugby World editor Paul Morgan, BBC Sport Director Matt Griffiths and Head of RBS Brand and Marketing David Webb. The WRU provided the jury with invaluable support in making an initial assessment of all the Welsh clubs, providing crucial insight at a local level.
Ieuan Evans chaired the selection of the Welsh club: "The RBS RugbyForce programme acts as a kick start to a more sustainable future for clubs. Clubs cannot solely survive on the help the programme gives them, but it acts as a trigger to take them forward and remain in existence for years to come. The Welsh registrations this year were stronger than ever and it was a really tough decision, but in Handy RFC we have found a worthy recipient and a club who is determined to safe guard its' future."
David Webb, RBS Head of Group Brand and Marketing, said: "The level of consideration and planning that some clubs have already undertaken shone through in their registrations, making choosing the final winners a real challenge. Rugby is at the heart of the communities of the winning clubs and we are confident that the renovation work will not only benefit the clubs but the regions in which they are based. For the clubs it is now time to rally their communities and we would urge everyone in these areas to get in touch with the clubs over the next month to see how you can join in and help on 11th and 12th June."
It is not only Hendy RFC who will be assisted with their aspirations to regenerate their facilities. RBS has supported the first 100 clubs to register with packs that include volunteer T-shirts and funding towards DIY equipment and BBQ sustenance for volunteers on the day. RBS will also be providing tips and planning documents on budgeting, organizing resources and raising local awareness for the RBS RugbyForce weekend projects. Local branch staff members are also being enlisted to help strengthen the volunteer forces as part of RBS's existing community volunteering programme.
To see if your local club is participating in the RBS RugbyForce weekend, visit www.rbs.co.uk/rugbyforce