Sport Yorkshire SY01 Web - Page 23

Skirlaugh Forty/20 League, and eventually was installed as the Vice Chairman’s role.” The Role “Since the concept of amateur rugby league turning to a summer game it has also seen dwindling participation numbers, although we work hard at Skirlaugh to always run two open age sides, it is hard work at times attracting players and retaining them, although we have a vibrant youth section fielding thirteen teams. Finances are always a very important factor as it is a very costly business and we are eternally grateful to our loyal sponsors for their backing of the club. Equally so throughout the year we have to raise monies through various functions which helps.” Atmosphere “The atmosphere at the club is very positive and we are building more solid foundations and looking to the future, which is mainly due to the hard work of Head Coach Lee ‘Troggs’ Roberts and his dedicated coaching staff. The General Committee also work very hard so that the players are well looked after, which makes the club a very happy ship at present.” Present “2018 generally went as we would have expected although we set our sights on reaching the play off’s which did not happen as we finished just outside the required league position. However, we went into the season consolidating the club and we certainly achieved that and are far stronger for it. Once again we are targeting the Division One play off’s in 2019 in what is a really strong league this season with some outstanding teams all competing for a place in the National Conference League Premier Division. We have a really young reserve grade, the Skirlaugh Bulls, playing in the Yorkshire Men’s League and our aim is to bring them on and see them challenging for First Team selection, which has happened already, which makes us stronger.” Youth “Without any shadow of doubt youth development is probably the most important factor in the club and we field thirteen youth teams, starting with the Skirlaugh Shrimps at Under 6 age group. They cannot play rugby at that age but we are able to put a ball in their hands and start teaching them the core skills they will need in the future. It also gives them discipline and a bonding to the club.” Integration “We adopted a policy three or four years ago that the Under side who play in the Yorkshire Under 18 League train with the open age, and start to prepare them for open age rugby. We also play occasionally some of these youngsters in the Skirlaugh Bulls (our reserve grade) to give them a sample of what they will be facing week in, week out. These Under 18’s also have their Presentation Evening with the open age so there is a real bond there between all the players. We also further down the line have a curtain raiser from the younger youth teams before our home National Conference League fixtures, so that not www.sportyorkshire.net 23