On behalf of the Rugby For Life family we would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and thank you all for your continued support in 2022 and into 2023.
Rugby For Life has had a huge year, it was our first year of working in what we refer to as ‘Business As Usual’ and we are very proud of the community outcomes we are supporting and driving. These outcomes are not only in the rugby community but spread across many other groups in Northland. Our heartbeat is provided by our club coordinators, who we have working with 14 clubs, and what they have achieved this year has been amazing. Our Coordinators are providing positive generational changes in their communities, and we couldn’t be prouder. Some other notable areas of achievement were “Grow the Game” where we partnered with the Northland Rugby Union to grow junior rugby in Northland, this achievement was incredible as Northland was the only region in NZ to achieve significant growth in Junior Rugby. We also provided well deserved money back to clubs to help reduce the amount of fundraising they needed to do. We are driven by what the community needs and they asked us to help reduce volunteer burn out, the placement of club coordinators helps this and we have reduced the admin burden by centralising some processes – but we have gone even further and have led a complete review of the Northland rugby ecosystem and targeted a set of actions that can make the environment more efficient and fit for the next 100 years. The key outcome being circa $8m of volunteer hours being given back to the community.
In 2022 we focussed all our attention to getting our Club Coordinators in place and community outcomes, not fundraising. In 2023 we will be working with partners again to fund some amazing programs we will be rolling out, as well as to increase the number of club coordinators and continue to provide more community outcomes. Oh, and also (watch this space) we are ready to pilot a unique commercial opportunity for the community which will provide much needed economic relief to our region and funding opportunities to our clubs. As this is a world cup year we are also planning a lot of fun events both here in NZ and the UK and France through our new RFL Members Club in the UK and NZ, another unique way for anyone to support our cause.
But a special thank you must go to Northland Rugby Union, The Council of Union, The Atlas Foundation, The Matt Ratana Rugby Foundation, Andrew Golightly and the MWIS team, and all our supporters and partners including the team at Colab Connects … without you we would not be here … and last but not least thank you to our community and our people, you have placed your trust in us and we will not let you down. It’s been a scary few years and we have proved as a team that we can move mountains together.
Happy Xmas and New Year
Ajit Balasingham, Chair
Riki Kinnaird, Deputy Chair