Participation numbers at Manchester’s Dual Code Rugby Club, Mancunians are continuing to increase as the club continues to grow.
Numbers of participants at all sessions apart from the adult men’s rugby league team have increased across the board since the club last published its participation figures in November 2016.
A highlight is the outstanding growth in participation of children with a total of 41 children now participating regularly at Mancunians’ club rugby sessions. This is an increase of 141% since the last count with a 40% increase of children attending under 7’s, under 8’s and Rugby Kidz sessions and 15 new boys aged 14 or under registering to play for Mancunians’ new under 14 rugby league team which will be playing fixtures for the rest of the summer.
Mancunians has also recently started to play rugby league fixtures for their under 7’s and under 8’s teams and are looking to play regular fixtures throughout the winter as their year-round rugby offer continues to appeal.
As the club reported in November 2016, a critical factor responsible for the growth at junior level is Mancunians’ strategy of offering quality provision to a relatively small number of children at primary schools. The club runs five after school clubs at primary schools and over 20% of children who attend these after school clubs transfer across into
a club setting. So far this school year, Mancunians have engaged with 91 children at their after school clubs in South Manchester with a total of 711 children aged 11 or under receiving rugby coaching during lesson time.
Participants in Walking Football, which was new to Mancunians in 2016 continues to be on the upward trend with over forty people being registered to play the sport at Mancunians. The club now offers two sessions per week in the local community with that number set to grow to three in September with the addition of another session. The number of participants in this age group will continue to grow with the introduction of walking netball and walking rugby sessions for peopl aged over 50 overthe next couple of months.
Another marker of success is that of volunteers with 22 people now volunteering to assist Mancunians at least twice per month. This is a new measure for Mancunians and was not counted in the last figures in 2016.
“We are very pleased that Mancunians is continuing to grow across Manchester. Our multi-sport, multi-region approach is beginning to bear fruit and I must congratulate everyone involved for their efforts.” Said Mancunians Director, Stefan Hopewell.
“We published our participation figures just over six months ago and those figures showed that Mancunians was continuing to grow and the new figures demonstrate that our offer continues to appeal to people across Manchester.
“We have recently begun wheelchair rugby delivery in schools across Manchester and these figures aren’t included in today’s announcement and it’s important to mention that we are still seeing new people join Mancunians on a weekly basis that have not been included in these figures, so we expect that these healthy figures will continue to grow.” He said.
But Hopewell says that there are still areas that Mancunians need to develop if they are to achieve their long term goals.
“There are still a few areas that we need to work on.” Said Hopewell. “Adult rugby league participation has dropped but we are aware that participation of men in rugby league generally, not only in Manchester but across the country, is down, so we know that we are not on our own. Taking this into consideration we have put plans in place to turn this around in time for when we publish our next set of figures in the autumn.” He said.
But Hopewell left final praise for the growing number of people who give their time for free to help the club to grow.
“We are very lucky that we have so many volunteers who want to assist Mancunians to grow. We have people aged between sixteen and seventy three from all over the globe from far-flung places including New Zealand, Gambia and Canada helping us on a weekly basis and I must pass on my thanks to everyone involved.” Said Hopewell.