Club History 1 of 2

1. Club History

Whitehall Rugby Club was founded on the 11th May 1931, and the coming season 2011/2012 sees us enjoy the Club's 80th Anniversery.The original chairman was Mr A Hamlin, the games teacher at Whitehall School. The majority of the players at this time were 16 years of age and the club was originally called Whitehall Old Boys, but this was later changed to Whitehall Rugby Club. The school no longer exists it was demolished by make way for houses in the 1980's.

In the early days of the club, games were played at Gordon Road. The Club approached the council to build a clubhouse there, as they had been using local pubs as their meeting place. They were offered an alternative site, a filled in quarry site at Foundry Lane. This is the current position of the clubhouse as we know it today and this was built in the early eighties. The Clubhouse was officially opened on 22 October 1984.

The Club is proud to have had players who have come up through the juniors and seniors to go on to play for Bristol Rugby Club. These include Mark Tomlin,Darryl Hickey, Ralph Knibbs, and more recently Craig Short, who was a member of Whitehall RFC from the age of 11.

With the inauguration of the RFU National Leagues, the Club found themselves in the Gloucester/Somerset League more recently renamed Western Counties North, until the end of the 2005/06, where they were relegated to the Gloucester Premier League. Whilst there has been a recent trend of numbers in the Rugby community decreasing, in 2009 for the first time in twelve years saw the club re-establish a Fourth XV, the difficulty being finding opposition. The Seconds, Thirds & Fourths play in Gloucestershire Reserve Leagues, in the Premier League, South 1 & South 3 respectively.

We have just enjoyed one of the most successful years at the Club, with the Firsts regaining promotion back to Western Counties North in emphatic fashion only dropping six points out of a possible hundred and ten on the way , only losing one game. We also won the Combination Vase beating Chew valley 34-10 in the Final. Our re emerged Vets lost narrowly to Dings in the Combination Vets Final. Two other awards which we are very proud to receive are the Club Of The Year Award by the Sunday Independent Newspaper and the Whistlers Award as the most hospitable club by the Bristol Combination Referee Society.

Last season saw the re branding of the lower sides, with the Second XV renamed to Whitehall Wasps, the Thirds Warriors & the Fourths Wanderers.

The Wasps have made a massive impact on the success of the First XV, not only competing at the same level with Cinderford, Old Patesians, Cleve, but beating Dings, Clifton, and Lydney and drawing twice with Coney Hill, all of whom's First XV are between three and five Leagues higher. The Warriors are in a league with the majority of sides being Second XV's, and a notable scalp being a double against Clifton 3rd XV. The Wanderers have fielded a side for every league game, and playing mostly 3rd Xv's and two 2nd XV's. To finish inthe top half is a great credit. We are now so close to running a Fifth XV, such is the talent from our Junior section with boys reaching their seventeenth birthdays.

The Junior section at present run five age groups, Colts, U16's, U14's U13's & U9's, and a Mini's Section. It is a vibrant and integral part of Whitehall RFC and endeavours to teach youngsters how to play skilful rugby in a competitive and sporting atmosphere, with the emphasis on enjoyment. Our clubs ethos is 'lead by example', whereby our senior players encourage our juniors by actively supporting the junior coaches and players during training sessions. The U15's won Runners Up in the Combination Sevens.

Whitehall RFC Junior Section is a well-administered, growing and successful part of the club. We have a commitment to fun and good rugby provided in a friendly, family orientated environment. We fully endorse the RFU's philosophy of fun first, results second. The success of the club is its inclusiveness and its warm, welcoming atmosphere. Our training staff are committed, enthusiastic and have a well-developed understanding of the needs of children and how best to communicate with them. Each member has been vetted by the Police Criminal Records Bureau and is committed to Child Protection. The Club are very proud to have been awarded the RFU Seal Of Approval, and this further enhances the care and attention given to the Junior Section ensuring that all regulations and requirements are met.

The senior teams train on Monday and Thursday evenings and the Juniors train on Sunday mornings and Thursday evenings.

For more information regarding training, please contact Seniors; Wayne Millard 07881804543 or Juniors: Mrs Bev Colton 07988156075

Iain Pring Chairman