A year to remember for Community Chiefs

The Exeter Chiefs Community Team (left to right): Gareth Williams, Ann Webb, Andrew Dudley, Richard Bright and Aron Struminski. Picture: www.jmpuk.com

By Mark Stevens

The New Year is still very much in its infancy, but it’s only right that we reflect on what was a record-breaking 2018 for the Exeter Chiefs Community department.

Building on the success of previous years, Community Chiefs not only helped to oversee 2,700 youngsters through the Super Saturday match-day activity, but over 1,000 more engaged in a series of camps across the region.

The Land Rover Premiership Cup continues to flourish with 32 teams taking part in the annual tournament aimed at players in the U11s and U12s age groups. This year, Newton Abbot and Saltash triumphed with both clubs set to be part of Premiership Finals Day on June 1 at Twickenham.

Youngsters in action during the hugely successful Land Rover Premiership Cup

Elsewhere, the Community team have been hard at work delivering a host of different programmes to schools locally, including the Aviva Tackling Numbers programme, Project Rugby and the new Greggs Foundation Tackling Health programme.

Whilst the hugely-successful Hitz programme continues to make an outstanding difference to the lives of young people. Working under the guidance of Hitz Officer Gareth Williams, the Chiefs programme saw yet more success in 2018 with Aidan Seal picking up the Academic Achiever Award.

With so much happening, it’s little wonder the Community team has been forced to expand with Ann Webb coming on board as one of the Community coaches and Olly Toomey and Caleb Sampson being taken on as apprentices.

Commenting on the success of 2018, Community Development Manager, Andrew Dudley, said: “2018 was an incredible year for us as a department. Not only was it a record-breaking year in terms of engagement with young people, but we’ve seen some fantastic work achieved by so many people that the team have worked with.

“I’ve no doubt that we will continue to thrive in 2019, helping to spread the good name of the Chiefs and rugby itself to so many people.”

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