President’s Message for 2020

Message from Club President Mark Wetton

2019 was a year of change for our club, but thankfully most of it for good. For me, it was a personal honour to be elected as Club President at the start of the new season.

Firstly, the performance of the senior team has been superb this season. Promotion last season was a real highlight, but to now sit within touching distance of the new league’s summit is absolutely phenomenal.

Special mention must go to our new head coach Jimmy Samuel and his coaching team of Nick Martin, Mark Reilly, Nick Cram and Iain McEwan. Jimmy has been a fantastic addition since formally coming on board this year. The senior team are performing well and boys are training with a smile on their faces (mostly!).

As well as bringing in some new boys, Jimmy and the coaches have put a lot of work into refining our overall game strategy as well as upskilling the team in both the basics and the finer points. Our lads are doing the right things and we’re on the right course.

The Juniors section also had a busy year with numerous events, tournaments and matches, and it’s great to see young people of many ages playing and enjoying the sport we all love week in, week out.

Fundraising, finances and sponsorship

Huge thanks should of course go to our sponsors, funders and partners for their continued support of our club.

On that point, fundraising is still absolutely vital to our club’s long-term survival and progression. We need absolutely everyone involved with our club to help out, whether through finding new sponsorship, helping at our events or otherwise.

Our clubhouse bar has also seen a bit of a change with James and Amanda coming in, and it’s in a good place financially.

While our finances are stable, we cannot rest on our laurels. Raising funds should be on everyone’s mind.

Off the field

We’ve had some big wins off the park. Our social events – such as Fireworks Night – were well-attended and have definitely boosted the club’s reputation in the local community. The Cow Pat competition in particular raised a lot of money for the club.

The addition of our new portable, rechargeable floodlights is a game-changer for our teams. Having the flexibility to train when and where we want – especially during the winter months – will benefit our club for years to come.

Where next?

So where next for Bannockburn? The Committee has a clear vision in that we want to make our club a great place for all ages to play rugby and enjoy the social side. We want to maintain our progress on the pitch – and a seconds team is still high on our agenda.

Finally, I would like to put on record our gratitude and appreciation for the work done by Bannockburn RFC’s volunteers. Without their help, we wouldn’t have the great teams and club we have today. 2020 promises to be even better.

Cow Pat Compo winners announced

Winners of Bannockburn RFC’s very first Cow Pat competition have been announced.

The overall winner of the £500 prize was entry White 1878 (Tom Young), whilst the following entries won four ‘splatter’ mini-prizes:

  • White 111: Joe Miller
  • White 336: Shona Dove
  • Yellow 1381: Bruce Platform syndicate
  • White 517: Claire Baxter c/o Bannockburn Nursery

Bannockburn 08:26 Kinross RFC

Bannockburn’s Caley Bowl run was brought to an end after a hard-fought match against Kinross Rugby Club.

Burn controlled the majority of possession in the first half, but still found themselves second best to a confident Kinross side with a strong kicking game in wet conditions.

The Burn’s phase play was excellent and controlled the breakdown well. The home side’s kick and chase worked well, putting pressure and forcing mistakes, but ultimately the visitors went in at the break nine points ahead.

Industrious club captain Bob Conway was in effervescent form, causing problems for the visitors all match with his physicality and work rate.

Bannockburn took their foot off the gas after the restart and failed to run as hard as they were tackling, giving the visitors too much credit – something the disciplined team from Kinross used to their advantage with some decent running from depth.

Veteran No. 8 Nick Cram scored Bannockburn’s solitary try, running over in the final ten minutes to add to Grainey’s early penalty. Man of the match was Iain Duncan.

Bannockburn RFC’s next game is away to Waid Academy FP RFC on Saturday 12 October.

On Sunday 13 October, the local community is invited to take in the Bannockburn Club Day at the Heritage Centre (09:00-11:00) followed by the Scotland World Cup match in the clubhouse.

Rugby coach education courses: August 2019

Coaches spend every training session giving players feedback to help them improve, but who helps coaches improve? Some of the upcoming courses in the region this August is a good starting point.

Games Builder Workshop: Stirling County: 14 August 2019

Link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/technical-blueprint-games-builder-workshop-stirling-county-rfc-tickets-65670300637

Development Conference: Strathallan School: 18 August 2019

Link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/caledonia-midlands-rugby-development-conference-2019-strathallan-school-tickets-62144362461

AGLV P4-P7: Kirkcaldy: 19 August 2019

P4/5 link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/p4-p5-aglv-workshop-kirkcaldy-rfc-tickets-67919915295

P6/7 link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/p6-p7-aglv-workshop-kirkcaldy-rfc-tickets-67920182093

First Aid in Rugby: Online/Ongoing

Link: http://playerwelfare.worldrugby.org/firstaidinrugby

Hive Platform/Rugby Right: Online/Ongoing

Link: https://www.hivelearning.com/scotrugby/

Rugby club ‘digs’ Battle of Bannockburn

Bannockburn Rugby Club continued their preseason efforts with community work at the Battle of Bannockburn Experience centre.

Battling torrential rain, players and volunteers helped centre staff with heavy lifting and manual labour in the gardens, meadows and paddocks – laying the foundations for future improvement works.

And though the weather wasn’t on side, the lads worked hard as a team to get the job done.

Retracing ancestral footsteps was Team Captain Calum Bruce, who trod the same Bannockburn earth as his namesake Robert did almost 700 years ago.

After the graft, the workers were treated to the centre’s immersive Bannockburn experience and battle simulation – with many remarking on the quality of the exhibits and knowledge of the centre staff.

Speaking afterwards, Head Coach Jimmy Samuel said:

“Today was about giving something back to the community. We take pride in Bannockburn just as we take pride in our club.

“It wasn’t an easy ask with the terrible weather, but the lads stuck in and that sort of mental resilience will be vital in the season ahead.

“It’s a small gesture on our part and hopefully supports the centre in their preparations for the school and public visits next term.”

Bannockburn RFC’s preseason campaign continues with the club’s Open Day on Saturday 3 August, followed by a friendly against Falkirk 3rd XV on Saturday 17 August.

All are welcome to give rugby a go at Bannockburn RFC training. Training times are published on our Facebook page: facebook.com/bannockburnrugby

Plea for support at Sruighlea Festival

To all club members

This is a plea for your support for the upcoming Sruighlea, Stirling’s Summer Festival event. The event is at Forthside on the 17th August 2019. We have secured a spot for the club in the activities challenge area of the festival, with the following aims:

  • Raise the profile of rugby in the local area
  • Build the profile of the club in Stirlingshire
  • Encourage new members to join both seniors and juniors sections

We need volunteers to help organise the day, including any events or activities we can share, and to help out on the day itself. We will have some members from the seniors available on the day and are very keen to work in partnership with the junior section.

Anyone who may be interested in helping us, please speak to me.

Thanks,

Finlay MacCuish
Sponsorship manager

Bannockburn RFC committee confirmed for 2019-2020

Following the club’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Wednesday 5 June 2019, committee roles and officeholders for the 2019-2020 season have been confirmed:

  • Chairman: Martin Kenny
  • President: Mark Wetton
  • Vice-President: Kevin McCormack
  • Treasurers: James Jaffery and Colin Alexander
  • Secretary: Ronnie McGown
  • Fixtures Secretary: Nick Martin
  • Senior Head Coach: Jimmy Samuel
  • Minis Head Coach: Davie Davidson
  • Minis Section Manager: Martin Kenny
  • Midis Head Coach: David Grainey
  • Midis Section Manager: Steve Balfour
  • Club Captain: Bob Conway
  • Social Secretary: George Vekic & Stuart McGown
  • Welfare Officer: Iain MacAskill
  • Sponsorship Manager: Fionnlagh Campbell
  • Food and Beverage Manager: Fionnlagh Campbell
  • Discipline Secretary: Ronnie McGown
  • Safeguarding: Colin Alexander, Fiona McDougall-Aitken, Rachel Keenan
  • International Tickets: James Jaffery & George Vekic
Stuart McInally holding the 2019 Calcutta Cup

Bannockburn RFC to host Calcutta Cup

Bannockburn RFC will host the Calcutta Cup on Saturday 1 June as part of the club’s end-of-season festivities.

The Calcutta Cup will make the short journey along the M9 as part of celebrations marking a year of progress for the club, which include Bannockburn’s annual Captain’s XV versus President’s XV match.

Club Captain Calum Bruce will select a team to face Club President Kevin McCormack’s side in a friendly fixture, with faces old and new lining up for a shot at glory. Later in the day, a Forth Valley select side will take on visiting French team RC Digne.

Bannockburn RFC’s various age groups will be showing off their skills throughout the day. The club extends an invite to everyone in the community to enjoy a day of rugby and see the Calcutta Cup from 11:30am.

Food and refreshments will be served from the clubhouse from 12 noon, whilst Active Stirling will be on hand to provide sports and fitness fun for all ages in what is sure to be an enjoyable day for the whole family.

Scotland’s rugby team retained the Calcutta Cup this year after drawing with England in March at Twickenham. Scotland have not won at Twickenham since 1983, but retained the trophy by virtue of being current holders after the match finished in a 38-38 draw.

The Calcutta Cup is contested each year between Scotland and England’s men’s rugby sides, and was first up for grabs in 1879. England have won the trophy 70 times to Scotland’s 40.

Notice of AGM: Wednesday 5 June 2019

Bannockburn Rugby Club’s annual general meeting (AGM) will take place on Wednesday 5 June 2019 in the clubhouse at Bluebell Wood Park, from 7:30pm.

Members, friends, future volunteers and the general public are welcome to attend.

Motions and agenda items may be forwarded to Ronnie McGown, giving at least 7 days notice: pud900@aol.com