Firstly, I would like to wish you all a very happy Christmas and New Year. I would also like to thank you for your continued support as we continue to support promising young Bristol Players.
You will be pleased to hear that at the AGM we unanimously decided to carry on with the Trust. There was a healthy debate and we came up with a few ideas to boost the Trust and were also grateful to gain some volunteers who will help us to shape the future of the Trust.
So far this season we have continued our Partner Sponsorship of the Academy as Bristol bid to attract and develop the best local talent to play for our great club. In return for this we continue to be the player sponsor of Billy Searle and James Newey, who have shown their skills in the league and continue to go from strength to strength.
Getting picked to be the Trust sponsored player seems to bring luck, particularly if you are a fly half! Last year Callum Sheedy kicked and passed us to the Premiership from relative obscurity and this year it is the turn of the highly talented and ‘cool as a cucumber’ Billy Searle to take his turn in the limelight. Billy is a pleasure to watch and certainly doesn’t lack confidence. It required a great last ditch tackle from the Bath centre to prevent Billy writing himself in Bristol folklore and go in under the posts. Good luck Billy!
Under Mark Tainton the first team are improving at a good rate and I have seen enough to believe that we can do this and stay up. The team are playing with passion and commitment as well as a lot of defensive organisation and we just need one win, however ugly we do it, to give us the final ingredient of ‘confidence’ that will kick start our season and see us out of this predicament. So, like I say every week, let’s get behind the team and drive them onto to that first win and let’s keep the faith!
Many people have asked what the Bristol Independent Supporters Trust is all about and so in the last programme article I wrote the following. Back in the dark days of 2003 the Trust was formed by a group of over 50 Bristol fans who were passionate about our great Club and wanted to help it to get back on its feet again. Since its inception the Trust has helped the Club as well as the local rugby community via some of the following highlights:
• Contributing to the development of talented young Bristol players through the provision of circa £5,000 in bursaries as well as £21,000 for the Partner Sponsorship of the Academy
• Mobilising voluntary resources to convert a changing room to a state of the art video analysis and rest room when the team trained at Coombe Dingle
• Keeping the community programme going when the Club lost their Premiership funding and thus Community Department by organising tag rugby tournaments across the City’s schools as well as providing equipment and qualifying teachers as coaches through RFU programmes
• Supporting the players of Bristol Schools Rugby after their funding was cut by the RFU to ensure that they made it to key tournaments to continue their rugby development
• Manning stands over the years and promoting the Club at the Bristol Balloon Fiesta
• And many more valuable things……
Today our main focus is to support promising young Bristol players as well as the development of young players in the Bristol Rugby community. With this in mind I am delighted to announce that the recipients of this seasons Annual Bursary are Kyron Pearce and Rueben Davies. Well done gentlemen! I will be presenting them with their cheques at half time of the Boxing Day match v Worcester. More details about these players are available on the next page.
If you can help your Trust by spreading this message to your fellow Bristol supporters, then that will be the best advertising that we can get!
C’MON Bris and Happy Christmas!!!!!!
2016-17 Bursary Winners
Recipient 1 - Kyron Pearce
Kyron is currently in his U15 season and has already represented Bristol Rugby Academy on several occasions. The Broadoak School student who is equally at home at centre or on the wing, spent the 2015/16 season playing up an age group for the Bristol Academy. He represented Bristol in several games and capped the year by being involved in the annual RFU Southern Academies festival at Harrow School. The Weston Super Mare RFC product is a pacey outside back, who has an excellent fend and step to go with his natural speed. The Academy coaches are extremely excited to see him develop further over the coming seasons.
Recipient 2 - Rueben Davies
Rueben is currently in his U16 season and been part of the Academy programme for the last 18 months. The St Mary Redcliffe student is a hardworking, physical and uncompromising back row forward. He started the 2016/17 season extremely well representing Bristol at the RFU U16's Academy festival at Warwick School in August, with a series of very impressive performances. The Old Reds product continues to work in training week on week and the Academy coaches are looking forward to seeing him develop further as the U16's games begin in January.
Each player will receive £500 towards their development.
Bristol Schools Rugby Update – Ali Baker
The BSRU has been continuing to work in partnership with the Bristol Rugby Academy in providing opportunities for school boys across the city to develop their rugby. The main event this half of the season has seen 31 players represent the Bristol District at the Gloucestershire RFU District Festival on the 6th October at St Peter’s School, Gloucester. Working in partnership with Gary Townsend, we selected this group of players from schools across the district that traditionally do not play as much rugby as others in the city. The focus of the tournament is to provide players with the opportunity to experience representative rugby against other teams of the same standard. The tournament was a great success. The squad were encouraged to play a free flowing and unstructured style of rugby, heads up approach and to play what they see. The squad were competitive in all the matches and most importantly enjoyed being part of the day. Congratulations to all players involved.
The fixture programme for the Bristol Schools series of fixtures starts on the 16th December with Bristol Schools U15 playing Rhondda Schools. Then following the Christmas break the fixtures are as follows:
U15s v Somerset Schools A & B on January 6th, 6.30 KO at Western Hornets
U15s v Devon Schools A & B, Away on 15th January.
The 16s CB Schools programme then starts on:
8th January v Cornwall Schools A & B home at Filton Wise, KO 1.30pm
22nd January v Somerset Schools A & B, away
5th February v Boys Clubs of Wales, away at Porthcawl
19th February v North Gloucestershire Schools A & B, home at Filton Wise, KO 1.30pm
Finally, congratulations to Will Capon (BGS) and Charlie Powell (BGS) who have trained with the U17s England Schools training squad.