Originally known as Knocknacarra Rugby Club, Galway Bay Rugby Club has grown from the initial 40 players in 2007, to now having around 160 children playing mini rugby every week.

Of course, that wouldn’t be possible without the volunteers who dedicate their time every Saturday morning to ensuring these children get to experience all that is good within the game.

The volunteers include coaches, team managers, coordinators and committee members.

One of those coordinators is Jon Hunt. He discussed with us the club’s journey so far, mentioning the progression in players and individuals that mini rugby can help foster.

READ MORE: Mini rugby in focus: Castlebar RFC

He said: “We face challenges all of the time, just like our colleagues, friends and volunteers in other clubs. As we share these challenges and face them together, we see the results, as the players grow from their first training session into teams and individuals. It is a joy to see this and be part of a sport and club that holds this so close to their hearts.”

Galway Bay RC is a young club that is seeing the fruits of their mini rugby rise up into new underage teams. However, it is also a club that is pointing towards participation and enjoyment as its key barometers for its success.

This was mentioned by Jon when discussing development.

He added: “While walking around recently with the Code of Conduct for Players, almost every player pointed to the smiley face. Similarly for the parents and spectators – they love seeing their stars enjoying themselves.

“Our focus remains on the players’ enjoyment and each and every one of our players is already a success in their own right.”

READ MORE: Mini rugby in focus: An Ghaeltacht Rugbaí

Like all other clubs throughout the province, the volunteers and community associated with Galway Bay RFC are at its centre.

These members are constantly looking for ways to improve how they do things, with several Whatsapp groups active and discussing how every child can get the most of their time on the pitch.

Jon added: “The coaches and team managers prepare well for each session in order that kids get as much out of their short time training each week. In the background the committee works hard on promoting the ethos of the club, creating a vision with supporting strategies as well as supporting fund raising activities that allow us to function as a successful club.

“Reinvestment in coaching excellence is a cornerstone of the club and this manifests itself in the players’ enjoyment week in week out. Another cornerstone is our parents’ engagement and our PRO works hard at promoting the club through announcements on social media, as do the coaches through the various Parents’ Whatsapp groups.”

Over a short period of time, Galway Bay RC has created a community where parents, volunteers and players are encouraged to enjoy every minute they spend associated with rugby. Their mini rugby on a Saturday morning is key to that.

Galway Bay Rugby Club’s mini rugby takes place every Saturday morning from 09.45 to 10.45 (U7 to U9) and 11.00 to 12.15 (U10 to U12) with an extra session for U11s and U12s in Cappagh Astro on Monday nights.

 

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