RAF Kinloss

RAF Kinloss
RAF Kinloss Rugby Football Club was founded in 1939 and throughout the war years played on an opportunity basis, normally against opposition drawn from the many service units that were based in the Morayshire area during that period. The immediate post war years saw a reduction in the opposition available as units disbanded and the Armed Forces took the inevitable cuts that post war years always bring. The club then settled into the normal routine of a service club during the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s, with games on Wednesday afternoons against local service teams or sides such as the police and fire brigade. Most of the players during that period played for teams such as Moray and Highland at weekends and this meant that the standard of play was good and hence Kinloss’s several successful runs in the RAF Cup.
It was during the early 1980’s that a new league system was introduced into Scottish Rugby and Kinloss joined the newly formed Highland League and started playing rugby on Saturday afternoons. At the same time the club was opened to civilian members from the local community and this is when our longest serving civilian member, Mr Roy Dinnes, joined the club. Over the next few seasons the club made steady progress within the league system passing through the Aberdeen and District League into the then newly formed National Leagues Once again the club excelled and within 2 seasons we were promoted to Division 6. Time stood still for Kinloss at this point and due to the loss of several key players we entered a ‘lean period’ in terms of player availability. The club was still very successful as an organisation promoting and playing rugby within Northern Scotland but we missed those very capable and experienced players that took us to Division 6. The league structure has change several times over the last few years and we now find ourselves in Caledonia Div 2 Northwest. Over the last 2 seasons it has become increasingly more diffecult to keep a strong stable squad of players. The increase in the commitment of the armed forces to the Middle East and Afghanistan has meant a rise in the deployment of Kinloss personnel to these areas and this has had a marked effect on player availability. We are hoping that with young players coming through the youth section of club we will be able to bring about a more stable player base.
The club junior section, "Kinloss Kestrels", have played an important part in forging links with the community at large and now boast a membership of around 50 players who hail from Nairn to Hopeman and South to Aberlour. The Kestrels run teams from 5 years old with regular attendance at tournaments throughout the North and Grampian regions, the primary 4/5 and 6/7 teams having reached the finals and indeed won a number of tournaments over the last two seasons.
Away from the playing field the club has made great strides in improving both the playing and social facilities. The original clubhouse was a small prefabricated building left over from WW2. A move was then made to a wooden building which was located in an area used for station sports clubs but was inside the security fence and remote from the rugby pitch and changing facilities. In 1992 the club moved to a recently vacated building next to the rugby playing field and converted into a new clubhouse with the building of a bar and the addition of a toilet block. This served the club well up unto 2002 when it was decided to extend and upgrade the building. This work was carried out by the club members and with the addition of a kitchen, the club now boasts excellent facilities close to both the playing field and the changing rooms. A new bar-b-que site has just been completed in front of the clubhouse further enhancing the clubs facilities.

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