Rugby Club Issue 73 - Page 30

Devon Sharks FOLLOW US ONLINE TWITTER.COM/RUGBYCLUBMAG RC: How important is youth rugby to the club? LK: “It is vital that we work towards building junior sides. Rugby league is a game for everybody, and we need to be accessible to anybody who wants to get involved. Whether playing, or not, young, or old, male or female. We need to create those opportunities, so anybody who wants to get involved get in touch with the club.” PJ: “Youth development is massively important to us because we need to engrain the culture of rugby league from primary school age onwards. When the player reaches the age ready to play open age then rugby league won’t be as new to them. We want them to actually want to play rugby league.” RC: How does the club ensure that young players enjoy a smooth transition into the senior game? PJ: “This isn’t something we have experienced quite yet from our own grassroots, however we have had players join from rugby union grassroots. Never easy to teach a 16 to 18 year old who has played union all his life how to convert to league. Our coaching team are union players too and they bleed the players in depending on the transferable skills.” RC: Would you consider yours to be a community club? LK: “We have recently moved into a small Devon community at Bovey Tracy. The local populace has taken to the club, and are very supportive of us. It is our duty to not only represent them, but to involve them. It is also about becoming more than just a rugby club, and as we develop we would like to open our club to all members of the community. Even if we can just offer them somewhere to escape too. This will come when the sports hub comes together, and we are big enough to let the community use our club house.” PJ: “Yes we do, but we are trying to become the central point for rugby league for the whole of Devon too. We would like to become the Exeter Chiefs of rugby league” RC: What do you believe could be some of the biggest challenges the club may face in the next 5 years? LK: “Improving our standards so that we can compete with the big amateur clubs in the northern heartlands.” PJ: “Time and resources will always be against us, but developing opposition nearer to us will be hard work.” RC: What are the club’s ambitions for the next 5 years? LK: “I want to see us in our new sports hub, and working towards entering the national leagues.” PJ: “We want to be semi-professional one day but the next 5 years would be hard. So, be sustainable and have a full junior setup. At the moment we want to engage parents, children and anyone else who fancies volunteering at our club”. Club Contact: Facebook.com/devonsharksrlfc | Twitter: @devonsharks | Web: www.devonsharksrl.co.uk 30 Issue 73