If you’re like me, you’ve spent a lot of time looking for answers on how to make your rugby club successful. As a keen reader and researcher, I use search engines loads and read tons of blog posts but I’ve never been able to find high quality resources about running a grassroots sports organisation. Questions like “how do I recruit new players to my club?” and “how do I create financial sustainability in my club?” would always be met with top 10 lists containing superficial advice like “put posters up in the toilets at a pub” or “run a raffle.”
I started writing Grassroots Rugby Growth to share some of the experience I’ve picked up over 14 years of running rugby but also as a resource for the people running the game, especially drawing on my background in technology and digital. Trying to find good quality answers to common problems facing rugby clubs (and other grassroots sports clubs) through searching can be a tricky process – there aren’t many high quality resources out there. By contrast, there is now a huge range of high quality resources for coaching rugby – many of which I read/listen/watch daily. My hope is to deep dive into some of the problems we face off the field and create a resource that can help us to grow the game we love.
Who am I?
My name is Phil and I’ve been involved in rugby for as long as I can remember. My dad first took me down to Hove Rugby Club in 1994 and since then I’ve either played, coached or been involved in rugby in some capacity. At 18 years old, I did my first voluntary role which was to help organise an Easter 10s tournament before going on to serve for two years on the Student Sports Committee at Warwick University including a year as Chair. I played rugby league for the university team and rugby union for several club sides.
After university, I worked in web design and development for around ten years, both in-house and at an agency. I played both codes of rugby, union for Hove and league for the now-defunct Sussex Merlins. I was on the committee of both clubs (and still am for Hove) as well as holding a variety of different positions.
I now work as a rugby coach, meaning that rugby is my primary job! I’m working towards my level 3 coaching qualification and I’ve done the Director of Rugby and Leadership Academy courses over the past few years.