Groundspeople around the country will benefit from increased levels of support and guidance from 2022 thanks to a new partnership between the RFU (Rugby Football Union) and Honda.
Honda becomes principal partner of the RFU’s Rugby Grounds Connected programme which provides a two-way communication network between the RFU and rugby union groundspeople, helping rugby club volunteers to improve their pitches.
Over 1,300 members of Honda Rugby Grounds Connected, which is free to join, will have access to a huge number of opportunities including live and on demand webinars, an online toolkit, specialist guidance and access to pitch advisors. The new partnership will also provide an enhanced a reward and recognition programme for grounds volunteers.
The scheme will hopefully see live face-to-face events from the spring onwards, where groundspeople can interact with specialists and watch demonstrations of new equipment, alongside a live and on-demand webinar programme that will run throughout the year.
Ted Mitchell, National Facility Development Manager at the RFU said: “Collaborating with Honda is a really exciting evolution of the Rugby Grounds Connected programme. Their valued support will enhance the service we are able to provide for rugby groundspeople and will supercharge the reward and recognition programme.
“Our focus is to provide advice to volunteers and to inspire them through introductions to leading experts in their fields, such as former and current England Head Groundspeople Keith Kent and Jim Buttar. The programme provides an amazing opportunity for clubs to grow and increase capacity. If we can improve a pitch to withstand another match or training session a week across clubs in England, the possibility for thousands more matches or training sessions a year is incredible.”
Steve Morris, Head of Power Equipment at Honda said: “We are delighted to become Principal Partner of Honda Rugby Grounds Connected which provides guidance and resources for rugby ground’s volunteers across the country. Volunteers are the backbone of grassroots rugby, and by supporting groundspeople, we can enable more players around the country to keep playing the game they love. We are excited to extend our support to the quality and performance of pitches across the country.”
You can find out more about Honda Rugby Grounds Connected here