Tag Archives: training

Belsize Park receive RFU Presidents Award for player recruitment

Stand in the middle of central London, Trafalgar Square to be precise, start walking north and the first rugby club you will come to is Belsize Park RFC.

Based in the heart of London amidst a population of over 8 million people you may expect Belsize Park to have always had an abundance of players available to them but that hasn’t always been the case.

“It’s always been a great club with a very strong spirit but up until the last five years or so we sort of kept it to ourselves and so we were always a relatively small club,” says club director of rugby Zach Webb.

“In the last few years we’ve taken player recruitment very seriously and have seen massive results.”

From 77 new recruits in their 2011/12 season, this year the club has seen an increase to 280 new players with 380 in total playing for one of their six sides.


After deciding to prioritise recruitment, the club began by targeting the thousands of people who move to the capital each year who had once played rugby but were now without a club.

“We encouraged every player to become a recruiter, to spread the club’s message by word of mouth,” says Webb. “When players join we try and create a home and a rugby lifestyle for them here. We give them a rugby club and also a family that accepts them in.”

As a result, Belsize Park has become one of the most diverse clubs in the world.

“We have players from Uganda, Chile, America, Canada, Australia, Uruguay, Argentina, France, Italy, Greece, Spain, South Africa and New Zealand to name a few as well as players from all over the UK. The next challenge comes in retaining them.”


Retaining hundreds of new players each season is a unique challenge and Belsize Park approach it in a unique way.

“We consider ourselves to be the most widely toured amateur team in the world,” says Webb. “Every year since 1989 we’ve gone on two tours and have now travelled most of the world as a club.”

From China to Barbados, Belsize Park continue to take a group overseas each year with the aim of developing a strong ethos.

Despite having only senior teams, the club also has a partnership with Regent’s Park Royals mini and junior rugby teams, offering coaches every week to help develop the sport.


All their efforts off the pitch seem to be paying off on it.

The club has secured eleven promotions across their four league sides since the 2011/12 season with their 1st XV winning promotion to London 2 North West this year.

“We gave ourselves the target of reaching London 3 and managed to do it a few years earlier than planned so the next plan is just to keep rising through the leagues and show that we can do it while remaining strictly amateur,” explains Webb.

In recognition of Belsize Parks’ extraordinary growth they were awarded the Player Recruitment award at the President’s Awards by RFU President Jason Leonard, a fitting accolade for a club leading the way in growing the sport.

Find out more about the RFU President’s Awards and all the winners here. 


End of season games and training

End of Season
A reminder about where we stand on training, playing and socials as we head into the final month of the 15s season.

We have Coram’s Fields booked until the last 1st XV game of the season. The final training here will be on Wednesday 20th April.
Corams Field, Farringdon, EC1R 0EG
Location for training
Regent’s Park only mark rugby pitches until Easter Weekend each season, regardless of how early/late it might fall. We have all now played our last home game in the park. Home games from this point will be played elsewhere.

Remaining games
2nd April 2016
This is the final day of league games for the 2s & 4s. The 3s have their cup semi this day while the 1s are also on the road in the league. We expect to field the Bulls, possibly for the final time this season. Business as usual.

9th April 2016
The 3s have their MMT League Play Off Semi, the 2s will be in their cup Quarter Finals and the 4s in their plate QFs.

16th April 2016
in previous years this would be the final weekend of 15s and we would have just a couple of sides out. This year we are expecting to fulfil the below games, all competitive and relevant to the success of the season:
1st XV – home to Old Actonians (will be played elsewhere)
2nd XV – HMMT Cup Semi
3rd XV – MMT Cup Final
4th XV – HMMT Plate Semi

23rd April 2016
Finals Day. If results go the right way, the 1s & 3s will be playing to win their leagues and the 2s & 4s will be in knockout finals:
1st XV – away to London Nigerian
2nd XV – HMMT Cup Final
3rd XV – MMT League Final
4th XV – HMMT Plate Final

We will not arrange additional games, but we will set up socials around watching & supporting the teams playing for trophies & titles.
The end of season wrap party will be taking place at the White Mustache followed by our infamous Silly Sunday!

30th April 2016
Obviously the major rugby on this weekend will be taking place in Greece but we will also be entering a side into the Middlesex 7s at Richmond FC.
This is on the Sunday of the Bank Holiday.

We will also look at other 7s competitions as well as entering a side into Regent’s Park Touch Competitions once more.

Belsize vs Old Alleynians

We have a fantastic club day lined up for this Saturday, acting as the culmination of the past two months of hard pre-season training.

We have three matches scheduled and despite many players still being away on holidays, we have almost 80 players to pick from. Thus, the aim is to give everyone a run, easing you back into full-contact rugby, and for coaches to have a look at all players.

Location: http://www.pitchero.com/clubs/eastlondonrfc/location/

12 noon meet at East London RFC

1st XV
1pm meet at East London RFC

3rd/4th Combined XV
1pm meet at East London RFC

We hope those of you who played at the weekend are recovering from knocks & hangovers. It was a good day on Saturday with 3 good wins but all highlighted what needs work at training this week. 

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Pre-Season Training – Getting Involved

We are now entering August and our first competitive matches are in this month. So, we have one month to be ready.
Training takes place on Tuesdays and Thursdays in Regents Park. Many players are attending only one session a week. Many regulars from last season have not made an appearance at all. This is disappointing.
We have a large number of new players who need welcoming, who need to train alongside established players in order to gauge the standard of the club, and who need to be brought up to speed with club playing culture and structure. By staying away, you are not helping your own cause, nor the club cause.
We have a pool of talented coaches who are trying to structure sessions to accommodate numbers, raise standards, and still have a laugh. There are minor, but important developments to the playing structure this season; we cannot begin to train this until everyone is present.
Primrose Hill SprintFor everyone who is training regularly, you can already look back on a few weeks of dustbowl rugby, Michael’s absolute killer first session, Primrose Hill, first contact and Dav’s wicked switch from the wing on Thursday evening. Leapfrog will never be the same and having 50 guys roll around on the floor wrestling nearly drew a crowd.
Pre-season is important for your fitness and for your rugby skill level. It’s a physical and emotional investment in the bank for when the weather’s cold and you wonder why you do it. But, most of all, it sets our stall out for  the kind of club we want to be in 2014/15.

2014-15 Season Kicks Off!

The 2014/15 season kicks off Tomorrow at 18:30 in Regent’s Park. Pre-season training will be a mix of fitness, skills and rugby, taking place every Tuesday and Thursday until September at 6.30pm. We will have a team of coaches present, including fitness specialists.

Our summer training location is now between London Zoo and the Gloucester Gate entrance to the park, marked on this link as ‘Summer Training

Arrive changed or get changed by the side of the pitch. Bring water! Footwear for the time being is trainers.

Two Crucial Things:

1. Whoever arrives first, claim our space to train and mark it out with cones or anything to hand. Timing is crucial; If you think you can arrive a little earlier to do this on either Tuesday or Thursday, please let me know on 07950 257802.

2. Volunteers needed to collect the two bags of balls and ladders, etc from the Sheephaven and drop them over to the pitch. For early sessions we just need the two big bags, but they are not light to carry. Please let me know if you can help on either Tuesday or Thursday. In an emergency, I believe the Club will reimburse taxi fares.

With work commitments, holidays etc, we cannot expect 100% attendance at every session. Personal fitness is your own responsibility, but these sessions will help. Don’t worry if you’re feeling a bit flabby right now – the early sessions will be ‘accessible to all’. Just don’t leave it until August and think you can reach a level of fitness which will see you through the season – one of the reasons we suffered so many injuries last time around.

See you Tuesday!