At the last AGM the club received a Notice of Motion to provide an update on the actions outlined in the Camden Strategic Plan.
In consulting with the Illawarra, they have asked to manage the girls rugby participation, due to low numbers in the Illawarra. The Camden Board has appointed Wayne Cusack who has specific responsibility for getting Girls/Womens rugby up and running.
The club has and continues to host many supporter/player events (eg Junior Musters, Back to Camden Day etc). We have also recently announced the Camden Rugby Community Fund, which is an inclusive measure designed to assist those that are struggling financially to participate in rugby.
Social and Volunteering:
The Social Calendar has been published well in advance for 2022, and will be updated on the Camden Rugby Club Events page. The Board considered developing a specific supporter group network, but decided not to for 2022, as it was felt that with the two abbreviated seasons, we need to focus on retaining and providing value for our existing sponsors. The Board has also discussed various ways to recognise volunteer contributions, but has yet to reach a decision on the preferred approach.
Growth & Retention:
This category shares activities with other actions in the ‘Sustainable Success’ pillar, namely retention and recruitment. The club is continuing it’s ongoing work with the 28 Schools in the Razorback Schools zone to provide coaching and our facilities for use by the Razorback representative side. The club will also be hosting the Sydney Southwest Schools trials this year, as we continue to expand our involvement at a schools level.
The Camden Rugby Academy (having recently completed its 3rd year) has been the key mechanism addressing player development. We have successfully engaged International, National and State level guest coaches, as well as a specialist Strength and Conditioning organisation, catering for Junior players (aged 10-18) and Senior players. This continues to gain popularity with over 100 registered participants in 2021 (despite covid). The club also compensated our Junior NSW Country Representatives (11 in 2021) to offset the additional costs of playing at that level. Additionally Camden supplied approximately 60% of Illawarra representative junior players in 2021. Our work with the U18’s and developing Girls Rugby has seen our Junior playing numbers reach a record high in 2022 (217 and counting).
The Club has put considerable effort into developing our Coaches. We have paid for the Level 1, Level 2 Rugby Australia coaching courses for those interested in participating, rewarded coaches and managers with highly visible Camden Jackets, and also encouraged them to attend the Academy to learn alongside some of Australia’s top coaches. This has seen Camden coaches be selected for higher honours, with many of the Junior Illawarra age grades featuring a Camden Head or Assistant coach in 2021.
Retention and Recruitment:
The Camden Rugby Academy has been the primary mechanism to drive recruitment and retention. We are seeing some success with February Junior Player registration for 2022 the highest we’ve ever seen. Additionally the club has put a significant effort into maintaining an U18’s side, despite the lack of a local competition, as it is such a pivotal age group. We also created a loyalty incentive for the Senior playing group whereby we are rewarding regular match day availability
The reward for performance for our older players has aligned well with the development of our junior coaches. In 2021, Camden was instrumental in keeping the ailing 3rd Grade Illawarra competition alive, by putting a 4 team proposal to the Illawarra. In 2022, we have established a number of performance metrics for the Junior and Senior Presidents which outlines the level of on-field performance the board expects to see. Additionally both Juniors and Seniors have presented detailed budgets aligned with these performance targets.
Governance and Facilities
Planning and Control:
The review of the current budgeting and reporting processes is underway with the appointment of the new Treasurer. The club constitution has been re-written and submitted with the Dept of Fair Trading. We have also appointed a new Public Officer, Jeff Putt (Club Secretary)
The implementation of the new constitution has seen the club take a contemporary approach to the allocation of roles and responsibilities - namely the only roles enshrined in the constitution are President, Treasurer and Secretary. This has meant we have been able to allocate board member responsibilities more in line with the burden of work and activities, while also being conscious of the timing of the activities (e.g. Membership being more active during the beginning of the season).
The club conducted a safety review of the current clubhouse and changing rooms. This found them to be fundamentally sound. The Board determined that the priority should be given to expanding the Wire Lane precinct to include a 3rd field to address training congestion on junior training nights. The club has received a grant from the Greater Cities Infrastructure Grants programme for the development of a third playing field at Wire Lane. Works are expected to be finished by Sept’22. Additionally we have grant applications still pending for upgrading the lighting across all three fields at Wire Lane to modern LED lighting standards. Currently the Grant activities have been centralised through the Club Secretary, with an oversight from the Club Treasurer. The annual maintenance plan is prepared by the valued volunteer group, the Chain Gang, who work tirelessly to improve the facilities at Camden Rugby. Additionally, we understand that Camden Council will be upgrading the irrigation and drainage for fields 1 & 2 in the 2022/23 Financial Year. This leaves the remaining facilities action item, being the clubhouse, and a plan for the development of the clubhouse will be developed and considered by the Board over the next 12-18 months.
Download the Strategic Plan