The RFU celebrates 500 accredited clubs
THE RUGBY Football Union's drive to ensure that youngsters coming into the game benefit from the very best support systems that clubs can provide reached a major landmark recently when Clevedon RFC from Somerset became the 500th club to attain Seal of Approval (Clubmark) accreditation for its Mini & Youth set-up.
While the 500 milestone alone was a source of deep satisfaction among the Rugby Development Team nationwide, it also acquired added gloss in that it helped to take the total ratio of accredited clubs to 60% of the 831 clubs who currently have Mini & Youth sections nationwide.
With the Seal of Approval (SoA) award requiring a major effort on the part of even the best run clubs to bring infrastructures and procedures up to a very high level - one which is also acknowledged by the Sport England Clubmark Scheme - to achieve such a high rate of success across the game is a real feather in the cap of the Development Team, Community Rugby and the clubs concerned.
Clevedon were one of four Somerset clubs - Frome, Yatton and Burnham-on-Sea completed the quartet - who collected their certificates from former England centre Phil de Glanville at the Recreation Ground, Bath before the recent England Saxons win over Ireland A.
For Clevedon, the SoA Award award represented the first step down the path of adding Whole Club accreditation to their newly-acquired Mini & Youth SoA status.