We recently applied for RFU Club Accreditation, here is what our parents had to say:
Karen Jones Parent Under 6:
I would like to comment on the u6 group. It is a difficult age to coach as some listen and some just want to do their own thing. Tony Rolle with the help of a parent has managed to make really good progress, with all of the boys starting to get a grip on throwing and catching while moving and getting the idea of tag rugby. Also super Sunday was great, Rhys really liked being with the u7 boys and the afternoon was I think a great success, with lots of enthusiasm from all ages.
Anoo Jain - Parent Under 8’s:
Arjun is in his 3rd year at OB's (now U8). He loves it! He revels in the support and encouragement from the coaching staff, he looks forwards to meeting his mates in training or at matches. In his first year he was able to play with older boys and found the challenge of competition exciting. He has been in the right age group since then and continues to thrive on the atmosphere of the club. Both Charlie and Ged have an incredible talent for encouraging the group to do their best in the face of any adversity or a stronger team. Their words visibly lift the children and motivate them to go from strength to strength.
The U8 group has increased hugely this year - this reflects the style and high regard for the coaching team.
I can hardly contain Arjun's desire to continue at OB's and play contact next season. I am delighted that he feels this way and know that this reflects his admiration and respect for Old B’s.
Paul Wilson – Parent Under 8’s
My son started coming to OBs as part of the U8 group 6 months ago. Previously he hadn’t played any rugby. We have been impressed by the wisdom shown by his coach, who has been primarily focussed on getting the boys to enjoy themselves, whilst sensitively and steadily improving their skills and understanding of the game. The coach’s pastoral approach has been pleasing to observe, and the boys look to him with respect - especially during competitive situations which have been much more numerous than I expected, which has been exciting. The warmth shown to us as ‘new folks’ has been a pleasant surprise, and my son now wants to watch rugby matches on television and believes he has a future playing rugby. Were impressed.
David Yates – Parent Under 9’s & 10’s:
Now into our third year of junior rugby at Old Bristolian's, with an excitable pair of U.9 and U.10 players I'd like to say what a fantastic approach has been taken by all the committee and coaches at the club in developing the mini's and junior's section 'from scratch' in such a short space of time. The ground is simply buzzing on a Sunday at training, and for matches, and each year there seems to be another age group another year younger wanting to join ! The coaches that give up their time - and the committee behind them - are to be applauded for creating such a successful set up; not just for the rugby that has been taught and played but for the team ethic, fair play and social aspects that are encouraged, too, which make it equally enjoyable for the parents on the side-lines as much as the players (I tend to think the coaches have some fun too !). There is certainly a great deal of pride in being a part of the club. Word of mouth is the biggest recommendation I guess and the growth in playing numbers - and the positive feedback I hear from other local clubs about the respect OB's get - is testimony to this. From 'tag to contact' I don't know of any player who has left over the 3 years in the two age groups I generally watch and whether the child possesses the talent of a future International or are an absolute beginner they are given all the encouragement they need - no mean feat in any physically demanding and competitive boys' sport ! The club are obviously ambitious in wanting to build on this foundation and, whilst success on the pitch is warmly applauded by all, if ever there was a cliché to use, without a doubt, 'rugby is the winner' at OB's !
Chris Budd – Under 9 Parent:
I didn’t play rugby as a child myself. Cricket is my game, and I am a level 2 qualified coach. George went to OBs because a neighbour’s son went, but he plays for a different age group, so George didn’t know any other players, and I didn’t know any other parents. So you might say the signs weren’t good when we first joined!
What we have found is a club so vibrant and enthusiastic as to be infectious. There is a spirit that I have never experienced in any cricket club I’ve played for, and the willingness to participate stretches from kids to parents to coaches. My son has made new friends, and so have I. Most importantly, he loves playing rugby, and I love watching him.
Such spirit can only come from two places, high quality and enthusiastic coaches, and high quality and enthusiastic administration, both of which are found at OBs.
Mat Cole – Parent Under 10
My 10-year-old son has been playing rugby with OBRFC minis for the past three years during which time I have also been a member of the club.
My family and I have nothing but praise for Old Bristolians RFC, and it has become a valued part of our social life.
There is a genuine family atmosphere and sense of the community at the club as a result of the excellent coaching, the positive team spirit among the players and the strong emphasis on social events around the rugby. I especially commend the coaches for promoting great rugby played in the true spirit of the game.
Vicqui Christie – Parent U10,13 & 16
I have been involved with Old Bristolians Rugby Club for about eight years as a parent supporter. I have three sons, all avid rugby players, and the Old Bristolians Club have welcomed each one in with open arms and fantastic coaching at every level. The social side is great fun, match days are well-supported, the atmosphere is always friendly, and in terms of rugby the combined knowledge of those involved with coaching and training the lads, is phenomenal. Two of my sons, through the club have thus far gone on to represent Bristol schools, but more importantly they love the sport and the team spirit at Old Bristolians is second to none.
Tom Smith – Parent U8, 10, 12
I have three children playing with Old Bristolians RFC - in the u12s, u10s and u8s. The club is extremely well managed, friendly above all successful. Without exception, the coaches are skilled, motivating and highly professional. Whilst we all want to win (and frequently do!) the competitive side of the game is always tempered with good sportsmanship and respect for everyone. My children all look forward to their Sunday mornings with great anticipation and are proud to be members of such a fantastic club. As well as the rugby they (and their parents) also enjoy the social side of the game - especially when the juniors and seniors mix at club days. I've been a member of many different sports clubs and OBRFC definitely stands out as one of the best.
Robin Langford – Parent Under 11
I just wanted to express some thoughts regarding my experience at OB's Minis since my two sons joined in September 2010 and my daughter 2011.
I asked the kids what they thought and they quickly agreed on a one word answer that I can't better- AWESOME!!
I can be more specific though. I am consistently impressed by the enthusiasm and commitment of the coaches in all 3 year groups my kids are in and the level of organisation they deliver week after week is - that word again- AWESOME.
Their efforts are entirely focused on engaging the kids in a positive way and the numbers attending every Sunday are a testament to that. The under 8's squad is huge and the under 11's are running a waiting list. I never get complaints from my lot about going to rugby on a Sunday morning, which is just as well because I enjoy it so much I would make them come along anyway. Touchline banter with team parents has replaced the to some extent the time I used to spend propping up a bar before the family came along and a coffee has replaced the pint, which is a good thing given that it's 10am on a Sunday. It is all about enjoyment and shared development and if winning happens along the way then that is a bonus. The players don't like losing, but they are learning to handle that properly as well and they are all improving as players all the time. I never see player dissent or petulance and the team spirit is easy to see, particularly in the older age group.
The social side of the club is great as well. My lads and I all had a great time on the tour last year and eagerly await the next one with tickets purchased. The u20's international vs Italy in Bath, trips to the Mem to watch Bristol, the club day and the impromptu u10's summer sports afternoon last year are all examples of a real community that i have never experienced anywhere else to the same degree. Large numbers of people all at the same place at the same time to enjoy the same activity never cease to be impressive to behold and none of it would happen without the Club and the small number of people who make it happen. I never feel that saying "thank you" really does the coaches justice, particularly when they respond with "your welcome but i wouldn't do it if i didn't like it".
i'll say it again anyway- thank you
John Hardy – Parent Under 13:
Just wanted to thank you for such a good 2012 season. The Hardy family have been with OB's for the last 10 years and I have seen the club go from strength to strength. Jack Hardy has benefited enormously from the dedication of parents and passionate rugby players like you, Andy Dunn, Andrew Brown, Simon Uren and many more. I met Neil Loader, who knows my friend Bob Reeves, at the last match and was impressed that the RFU are putting money into grass roots rugby through officers like Neil. I am in full support of your application to The RFU Accreditation Scheme.
Stuart & Liz Larkins – Parents Under 11 & 13s
Our 2 lads have been involved with Old Bristolians since the creation of the mini section back in 2006. In those early days of tag rugby and just a handful of children they even played in the same team but this soon changed. The club grew quickly in numbers and age groups beyond anyones expectation but the majority of the children who showed interest 6 years ago are still very much part of the club today.
The quality of coaching, the enjoyment of playing shown on faces and as a parent watching the children develop has been fantastic over the years. It’s no surprise me that many age groups have waiting lists despite the availability of many other rugby clubs in the area.
HQ has excellent facilities in terms of pitches, changing facilities. The post match refreshments are always well received amongst visiting teams, parents and players alike not forgetting the social events also hosted.
The club doesn’t stop for 8 months of the year from September with our coaches understanding new laws applicable to their age group through to April and the clubs rugby tour which has become a traditional end of season event.
Clearly the above is a very brief summary of how the club continues to move forward so please don't hesitate in contacting me for further detail on any of the points highlighted above.
David Main – Parent Under 13
I wanted to let you and all the other coaches know what a great job you all do giving up your time not just in coaching and encouraging the U13’s OB’s but also in organising the team behind the scenes. I would give my wholehearted support in the bid for OB’s to become a RFU Accredited Club. I’ve seen the club grow from when Chris started coming along at U7’s when the mini’s started and how it now has teams at every age group up to U13’s with the U16’s and senior teams above.
It’s been a great period to watch the club grow and move forward. Chris has always enjoyed his time at O.B’s and it’s fantastic to watch his game develop as he’s moved on through the age groups. It was really good to see senior team players come along to coach the forwards and backs. Chris especially enjoyed the one to one coaching from the scrum half as part of that. It was a great opportunity to learn more skills. It’s a testament to you all that the team has stayed together, brought in new players and grown through the age groups to become a very strong team as part of a successful club. The club has always been very friendly and welcoming and it’s been a pleasure to meet friends on the touchline to watch the games and gather in the clubhouse afterwards. Overall, the club is constantly improving and its growth has been extremely well managed. It’s great to be a part of the OB’s and I’m wish you every success in achieving the accreditation.