The Melbourne Rebels High Performance unit opened its doors to Victorian Rugby Club coaches and administrators this week in an effort to further develop grassroots rugby.
Melbourne Rebels GM of Rugby & Pathways Nick Ryan addressed 20 club figures on Wednesday night, giving insight into strategies that community clubs can implement to raise the standard of their rugby program.
“A stronger Victorian club scene only enhances the standard of rugby here at the Rebels,” stated Ryan.
“We’ve just seen the completion of our NRC program which boasted 19 players with Dewar Shield experience.
“That figure is a record for us, and demonstrates the improving standard of the local game.
“That said, we know that by sharing our IP around football department best practice, we can further narrow the gap between the professional and amateur environments.”
The presentation gave club bosses an insight into areas such as recruitment and retention, community and commercial partnerships as well as club environment and relationships.
Incoming Melbourne University coach Tom Lucas was one attendee who identified themes he could immediately implement into his new club.
“We are in the midst of planning our 2020 season now so we will be looking to implement some of Nick’s advice around aligning all elements of the club around purpose, mission and values.
“I also liked Nick’s thoughts around the need to engage the committee and sponsors regularly to ensure they are engaged in the recruitment and retention plans of the club.
“The University base of the club can be transient by nature so having solid succession plans in place will really help us build sustainable long term success."
Another attendee to take some valuable lessons out of the evening was Maroondah president Daniel Kunovic.
“Nick touched on some easy ideas and advice and that I know, from my club’s perspective, we miss the mark on and need to be better at,” said Kunovic.
“I’ll be speaking to my senior coaches and club captain about player reviews, identifying areas of growth and what we need to be a better and more competitive at."
Kunovic has already identified lessons that will help with the growth of his club long term.
“For the club’s outside of Dewar Shield, it will help with growth in numbers; from seniors, women and juniors and will also close the gap with the Dewar Shield clubs."