NLD ‘Spotlight On’…. NLD Volunteer Coordinators

NLD ‘Spotlight On’…. NLD Volunteer Coordinators

NLD has three Constituent Body (CB) Volunteer Coordinators.  Their role is a little like that of a Club Volunteer Coordinator but on a larger scale.  We spoke to Rob, Dave & Ian to find out more about what they get up to.

Name: Rob Linthwaite
Telephone: 07854975590
Email: [email protected]
‘Home’ Club:  West Bridgford RFC
Rob LinthwaiteBio:  Rob started to play rugby at the age of 8 working his way up junior set up at Keyworth Rugby Club before moving to West Bridgford to join their Colts where he suffered a serious Injury that curtailed his playing career.

Instead of walking away from the game Rob took charge of the whistle and progressed through club matches to join the NLD Referees Society.   The First game he refereed was Melish 3rd XV v Market Rasen 3rd XV – a daunting task for a 17 year old!!  As his refereeing progressed Rob travelled the clubs of NLD extensively, it was then he was asked to take on the role of Nottinghamshire Volunteer Coordinator.

From the hard work he had been carrying out at a local level he was then asked to be part of the RFU National Youth Council as one of its founding members, later going onto Chair the Council.

In 2016 he will be stepping up as President of Nottinghamshire RFU at the tender age of just 26!!

Name:  Dave Searle
Telephone:  01472 429886 / 07792 876289
Email: [email protected]
‘Home’ Club:  Cleethorpes RFC
Dave SearleBio:  Dave started his playing career as at Grimsby RFC aged 6, he went onto represent Lincolnshire aged 14 and 15 before transferring to Market Rasen Colts.  At this time he was also playing and training with Nottingham Academy under ex England and Tigers player Paul Stone.  As a Senior player he returned to Grimsby RFC where alongside turning out for the First XV he became interested in Coaching.  Moving to Cleethorpes RFC Dave continued to get involved in Club Administration, turning his hand to roles including Social Secretary, Disciplinary and Coaching Coordinator.

After retiring from playing Dave became involved in coaching County Rugby and as an active member of the Lincolnshire RFU committee was put forward last year as senior Vice President of Lincolnshire at the tender age of 31.  Dave took on the role of Lincolnshire CBVC in early 2014 and is keen to establish himself within the role in the 2014-15 season.

Name:  Ian Thomas Roe
Telephone: 01332 551476 / 07789 998717
Email: [email protected]
‘Home’ Club: Derbyshire Constabulary RUFC
Ian RoeBio: Ian started his playing career at the tender age of 11, in 1966 at Bemrose Grammar School. When he joined the police he not only played for Derbyshire Constabulary but also Ilkeston RFC 1st XV. He continued playing for the police until the age of 48. He has been the club secretary for at least 30 years and continues to do so even though he has now retired.

Ian has been active with local rugby and with the constituent body. He was asked to be CVC for Derbyshire when the scheme was set up and has also taken part in the RFU Leadership Academy in 2008 and has since been a mentor. He is also a Vice-President for Derbyshire RFU.

A lot of people don’t really know what the role of NLD Club Volunteer Coordinator entails; tell us a little bit more about it?

Rob:  Being a CB Volunteer Coordinator is about engaging with the local clubs within our set areas and working with the club volunteers on recognising and rewarding the hard work they put into their clubs to ensure every week the game happens.

Dave:  We also work with clubs throughout the CB to meet and develop the volunteer workforce.  Volunteers are the backbone of our clubs so if clubs are struggling in certain areas then we can target these to find appropriate help, hopefully to ensure the smooth running of all areas within a club.

Ian: It’s a link between local clubs and the CB/RFU to enable clubs to access the resources available to recognise and reward the role of the many volunteers that give considerable time to run and organise clubs.

There are some excellent rewards on offer for valued volunteers, tell us more about these and how clubs can take advantage of them. 

Rob:  Across the course of the year we offer a range of rewards from tickets to Twickenham to watch England to small sums of money for clubs to hold recruitment and reward nights.

Dave:  Don’t be afraid to put your volunteers forward – we need to know about them in order to help you reward them!  Speak to Rob, Ian or myself or touch base with your Rugby Development Officer or Nicole Brown in the NLD Office. 

Volunteers are the core workforce behind grassroots rugby, how can clubs engage and attract new volunteers?

Rob:  Don’t be afraid to ask for help! If you as a club volunteer need assistance in your role or club speak with your club members and wider volunteer network asking them for help, as CBVC’s we can offer a range of tools to help engage and recruit new volunteers within your club and communities.

Ian: Each club is different; there is not a single method to recruiting volunteers that suits all. Some clubs are very good at recruiting; some clubs do not have to ‘recruit’ as the volunteers make themselves readily available. I am afraid though there are only clubs where ‘one person’ does all. These are the clubs that need help but are the clubs that do not ask we need to change that mind-set; we are here to help, JUST ASK!!

You have seen and rewarded some brilliant volunteer initiatives within clubs throughout NLD, do any in particular stick in your memory?

Rob:  The most memorable moment for me was the Value the Volunteer reward night we held at Nottingham Rugby Club in the 2009/2010 season.  We brought a range of volunteer from across Nottingham together to reward them with a three course meal with free wine and beer followed by VIP seating during the Nottingham Universities Varsity game.

Dave:  For me rewarding volunteers with tickets to watch England play at Twickenham for their hard work in and around their clubs is fantastic.  Who wouldn’t want to go watch England play!!

Ian:  I must agree with Rob,in the 2009/10 season we held a similar event at Derby Rugby Club with a meal and drinks for Valued Volunteers and their club coordinators, we had a great response from clubs but unfortunately the same enthusiasm from clubs has not been forthcoming for similar events that the CB has tried to arrange. Although this year we did provide several tables at the NLD Presidents Dinner which was a great evening.

The NLD President’s VII Awards were recently presented at the NLD Management Meeting, how do clubs get involved in this next year?

Rob/Dave/Ian:  All that clubs need to do is enter the RFU Presidents Awards via and we will receive all the applications put in from NLD clubs.  From there you will be in with a chance of receiving a £100 cheque and a commemorative Plaque for your club.

Finally what one piece of advice would each of you give to clubs within NLD?

Dave:  For me this one is easy – don’t be afraid to get in touch for help, advice or simply to put your volunteers forward.  We can’t help you if we don’t know that you need it!!!

Rob:  Say Thank you! As a club you are the back bone of the community game and the hard work which goes into the delivering rugby is carried out by thousands of volunteer’s week on week. As a CB we want to help you as clubs to say thank you.

Ian: Recognise who your volunteers are; each one is different. The way to reward can be a simple ‘Thank You’ or a visit to Twickenham but don’t ignore them. Remember we are all volunteers in it for the love of the game!!

Many thanks Rob, Dave & Ian for taking the time to talk to us!  Clubs don’t be afraid to get in touch with them – they need your help to ensure they can work effectively throughout the CB!

Who will the NLD Spotlight be on next?  Keep checking the website to find out!