We are proud to support Kevin Cook, our technical manager and product guru, in his company volunteering mission this year. As a keen rugby fan and parent of seven year old rugby player Louis, Kevin chose to spend his volunteering time helping out at the under 7’s and 8’s annual county rugby tournament ‘Tagfest 2018’.
Nearly 700 players from all over Oxfordshire competed during this one day event, battling it out across 15 pitches for the championship title. The Gosford All Blacks Rugby Football Club was overflowing with young players; together with their family and friends they comprised a crowd nearly 1500 strong and it was Kevin’s responsibility to make sure these hungry hordes were fed and energised for a gruelling day of activity – a twenty-two metre drop-out from his usual duties working with industrial adhesives and dispensing robots.
As well as ensuring a steady supply of bacon butties and hotdogs was maintained throughout the day, Kevin helped with pitch marking and car parking for the event. “Without the help of volunteers, events like these would just not be possible” explained Kevin, adding that “it was great fun and everyone (including himself) had a really good time.”
We are delighted that the day was such a huge success. As many clubs tackle the problem of decreasing numbers of adult players, youth development in rugby has never been more important. Sports England’s ‘Active People Survey’ showed that the number of adults playing rugby union at least once a week has declined from 230,000 at the start of the funding period, in 2009, to 177,900 at the latest calculation. We are glad that Kevin’s time was spent inspiring young players to get out on the pitch and enjoy this great game in all its glory and we hope that some of the young competitors will go on to enjoy playing as adults.
We have a policy of allowing team members to take paid holidays in order to do volunteer work in the community.