I would like to take this opportunity to wish all club members and their families and all friends of Balbriggan RFC, a very Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
2017 has been an exciting year for our great club. As you know, we are at the final stage before going to tender on our club house build, 2018 will see us providing the club with its first permanent home since the Club was first established in 1925. This is a marvellous time to be part of developing the future home of rugby at Balbriggan RFC.
On the playing field 2017 has seen the club grow in numbers at minis, youths and adult teams, with the club fielding a 2nd XV at senior men’s for the first time since that horrible word ‘’recession’’. Our Ladies have seen a great increase in numbers and are playing well as a team with great dedication being shown at training and on the field. This year also saw the Women’s Rugby World Cup arrive in Balbriggan and a fantastic evening was supported by all women’s sports in our community.
In May our U10’s were privileged to be given the opportunity to play on the ‘Hallowed Turf’ and with a day out in the Aviva stadium. Buses were loaded and the day was enjoyed by all players and family to the roar of ‘’COME on BAL’’.
Our U16’s (last season’s u15’s) with Victor and crew at the helm, played a blinder in Donnybrook on one of the hottest days of the year, lifting the silverware in a game that would make your heart fill with pride. (Well done all !!). In September they travelled to Spain on tour where a fabulous time was had by all. Youths are fielding at U13’s, U14’s, U16’s & U17’s and all showing strong league performances. With a special congratulations to U13 who are currently sitting on top of the league table at the Christmas break. (Keep up the good work!!)
The year 2017 has seen Balbriggan RFC as a real force in provincial rugby in Leinster. In March we hosted the U12 O’Daly festival. Over 400 players representing 21 clubs from all over Leinster participated in the festival. We were delighted to welcome on the day a visit by Leinster players Cathal Marsh, Ian Nagle & Barry Daly and all the U12’s players got the chance to meet these Leinster players. In July Balbriggan hosted one of the largest summer camps in the province with over 100 kids attending every day. The week long summer camp culminated with a visit by Isa Nacewa & Richardt Strauss to act as ice-cream men for all the kids. In August some of our youths attended the Leinster school of excellence to further expand on their knowledge of the game.
The minis and youths players in the Club are the life blood and future of Rugby in our Club and Community. All of us owe a debt of gratitude to the players and coaches in the Minis and Youths sections for all that they have achieved.
Balbriggan RFC is more than just a rugby club. It is a family of volunteers and friends providing a vital part of our greater community, growing, expanding and future proofing our club to benefit all for years to come.
As I have already mentioned, all of our successes could not be achieved without the dedication and hard work of our coaches and team managers at every level. Their work ethic and commitment to the club is immense. I want to express our gratitude to them and their families for the sacrifices they have made in 2017 for Balbriggan RFC.
We have more events planned for the remainder of 2017/18 season. In April for the first time we will host the annual Leinster U11’s Coyle Rugby Festival, with teams travelling from all over Leinster for this great event. Our U10’s, U11’s, U12’s and U13’s will travel to Italy in February to bring our brand of Rugby to a new audience with 159 travelling on ‘’Air Force1’’ our own charter flight to touch down in Milan for a weekend of rugby. We plan to host another Leinster Summer Camp in July 2018. The summer camp in July this year was the third largest held by Leinster Rugby this year!!!
Running the Club is an expensive business. We are grateful to our many sponsors who help to ensure that our teams are well kitted out, our pitches well maintained and lit on dark winter nights. A special word of thanks to our main club sponsors Moriarty Group and Progressive Credit Union for their continued support.
It is a truly great honour and a real pleasure to be President of Balbriggan RFC. I appreciate the support I have received from the various committees, members in the Club and valued voices from the greater community of Balbriggan.
I hope you all enjoy the Christmas festivities. You can of course burn off some of the seasons excesses with the Annual St.Stephen’s Day tag match at the Club grounds at 11am. As ever, all are welcome!!
Merry Christmas to you all and I hope you have a happy (and healthy) New Year.
President Balbriggan RFC.