In the next couple of weeks we will be sharing the detail of what came out of our member survey which has been independently analysed by Sheffield Hallam University. One message we already know is that Members would like more competition, which I totally get. We all play sport for similar reasons; we enjoy having a good time with friends; it makes us feel better in ourselves both physically and mentally; we like to compete and we like it when we win; there is also something very special about belonging to a team. It’s no surprise therefore that we would like more of this, more chances to get together and play. Although the Super Series has grown over the years there is still lots we want to do to enable teams to play more rugby. Adam Simmons is leading this and has been the driver behind the development of a mini league system in the south west involving Hawks, Bristol, Bournemouth, and Solent. They have their third tournament in a week’s time and among other things it is enabling players who may not yet be ready for the Super Series to get on court and play the game against other teams. We want to extend this opportunity to other areas and it will be a key focus over the next year.
But there is plenty of competition currently under way or planned, at every level of the sport. Super Series Division 1 is finely poised with all to play for in the final tournament on 21-22 March in Abingdon, Oxfordshire. West Coast Crash and Storm are tied on points with West Coast Crash currently topping the league on try difference. Similarly, Division 3 has the Lions and the Tigers fighting it out to end the league in top spot when they meet on the 22nd of this month. Meanwhile Division 2 has finished and congratulations to DMP Bulls who came out on top with Burn in the runners up position, just 2 points behind.
GB are also back in action as the build up to the games in Tokyo starts. Some of the team is currently in Lyon where they are training and will play France, who are preparing for the Paralympic Qualifying Tournament taking place in Richmond Canada between 4-8 March. France along with Canada and Sweden will be one of the favourites to take one of the final two spots available for the Tokyo games. GB are using the opportunity as good preparation ahead of the King Power Quad Nations which is now just a couple of week away. As part of this event there will also be a Women and Girls match following on from the success of last year’s event. If you have not yet got tickets to the Quads then you really should as with Australia and the USA playing GB you will not see a higher class of competition anywhere. GB will finish the Quads and then move on to their training base in Kitakyushu before taking part in the Paralympic Test Event in Tokyo, where they will again meet Australia and the USA, along with host nation Japan, so the best of competition lies ahead for Coach Paul Shaw’s team.
Still to look forward to are the National Championships and the Junior tournaments in April followed by the start of WR5s in May. It really is all about playing, so enjoy…