Over the past few years we have been asked; “What is our philosophy at Medway Rugby Football Club?”. This encompasses many things including the playing philosophy, (which we will deal with below) and our philosophy involving personal conduct i.e. the way that we behave as ambassadors in our local community and at the Club.
The first thing that we must do is define “philosophy”, for the purposes of Medway Rugby Football Club and this document, put simply; ….. It is guidance for members as to the principles that we as a whole Club embrace.
Having thought long and hard we can do no better than repeat the principles common and readily accepted by our members; those of Team Work, Respect, Enjoyment, Discipline and Sportsmanship. These are the core values of the English Rugby Football Union, and are therefore the core values of Medway Rugby Football Club.
These five principles are the bedrock and the ethos of Medway Rugby Football Club, these are the things that get us out of bed on a Saturday or Sunday morning and encourage us to come and watch our children play, and to encourage our children and our members to respect each other, the referee and the opposition, both during the game of rugby, in the wider community and in our daily lives.
Breaking these down, and inviting you to retain your own interpretation of the words, (perhaps look them up as we have); the first word is…..
“Teamwork” – Medway RFC is run by volunteers. The time that all of you give up is voluntary, always has been and probably always will be. The Executive Committee at the Rugby Club seeks to steer the team yet all the work is done by individuals, volunteers and for that we thank you.
As the word was penned; “Teamwork” was intended to relate to the game itself. Our great game requires sacrifice for the team to be able to win and you cannot win our game with talented individuals alone, we only win by working as a team. Similarly we encourage all members to work together toward the common goal of individual & Club development.
The challenge we face is separating elitism and inclusion. We will speak about it below and we certainly want our teams to win at Medway Rugby Football Club, but we must balance that with an inclusive policy, allowing all members to play the game and to improve their skills & learn the principles that we speak of. If individuals do not get the opportunity to play with talented others, then they have no opportunity to learn. We promote an inclusive policy at Medway Rugby Football Club.
“Respect” – The word encapsulates everything Medway Rugby Football Club wishes to stand for, but some specifics would include our insistence that we respect the referee, his/her decision is final. We respect each other, we respect other visiting clubs and their members, we are respectful of the work of the volunteers at our Club and further a-field, and we respect ourselves. We would promote undertaking esteem able acts as suggested above, this will naturally provide self respect for you as individuals and us as a Club.
“Enjoyment” – Yes please! The volunteers as mentioned above organise tours, rugby matches, training evenings, social evenings (and mornings and afternoons). We insist on enjoying life at Medway Rugby Football Club.
Enjoying the game is sweetened with victory. Our philosophy in regard to enjoyment is to train harder, play harder, get fitter and play fairer……essentially seek to Win! However, the winning at all costs ethos we leave to other sports!
“Discipline” – We are fortunate at Medway Rugby Football Club to be much more involved with the Kent RFU and the England RFU, given the superb work of volunteers of late. We encourage our players to be nominated to the County for selection, inevitably they must train harder and get fitter in order to achieve that nomination as many have recently. Several years ago we stated that we would provide an aspiration for our junior players to play for the 1st XV at Medway Rugby Football Club and not other Clubs. That we have achieved in that the 1st XV now receives some of the best players in our County including our own talented juniors. Complacency being our main enemy, our philosophy is to encourage all of our junior players to feed into the senior club where they will play to their ability. We continue to encourage players of great ability to leave the Club when the opportunity to play at County, Premiership or National arises, with an open invitation to return when the time is right and share their experience back with us. The discipline that you all have shown in recent seasons has led to the current success of our 1st XV, thank-you.
Finally, discipline at Medway Rugby Football Club from a personal conduct point of view is paramount. We trust you will make the right choices.
“Sportsmanship” – A Tradition within Rugby we were taught (back in the day!) and one of the elements that we wish to revitalise is our insistence at Medway Rugby Football Club that each individual player seeks out his opponent after the game and congratulates him and thanks him (or her). Particularly when at Home after the opponent has made the journey. Our philosophy is that you treat the clubhouse and our visitors as you would in your own home. Further, win, lose or draw, shake his hand. If he is down, pick him up and if he is up, smile and tell him there will always be a next time!
Much of the above we would appreciate discussing with you individually and the Executive Committee is an open door. Please talk to us and help us improve your club. We believe in Unity. The spirit that is Medway Rugby Football Club when unified is irresistible. We know this to be true because as a result of all your efforts, we have achieved the ultimate accolade from the Rugby Football Union, that of Whole Club Seal of Approval……Well done to you all, however, the work begins today. We have a reputation now to live up to!
A big part of our philosophy and one of the reasons why we achieved the Whole Club Seal of Approval is Transparency. All of the processes, systems and everything we seek to do and achieve is transparent. Please help us improve on that and help avoid complacency…….. C’mon Medway!
In closing we can do no better than to invite you to aspire to the Barbarian Rugby Football ethos, which in a short phrase seeks to encapsulate Medway Rugby Football Club’s philosophy…… “the only criterion is that members show grace on and off the field”.
From the Chair; Ian Dance