WINNER: Halifax RUFC
Halifax Rugby Union club holds the record for the most wins in the Yorkshire Challenge Cup – 13, and for providing four England internationals ( including two British Lions ) between 1924 and 1966.
Founded in 1919 the early days were played at Highroad Well, Spring Hall, Friendly Fields and Ovenden Cross until finally in 1925 the club moved to, “The promised land of Ovenden Park” where it remains to this day.
In 2009 the decision was taken to cut and run from semi professionalism and from high league status and the Club once more became a community club.
There are no regrets about this momentous decision ; it means that investment can be made in a greater number of playing members of whatever level of ability, supporters, volunteers and the Community .
8 years on there are two regular senior Men’s team , a Ladies team, a Mixed Ability squad , a Veterans team and most recently a revived Junior squad..
In March the club provided a rugby taster session for the LGBT community. This expansion of the game is being supported by Stonewall and publicised by the RFU .
The Mixed Ability squad sees players with learning or physical difficulties train and play whenever fixtures can be arranged. The Club is proud to have the generous sponsorship of the Pennine Magpie Day Centre for this team who absolutely love the experience as do their opponents. In 2015 they played in the first Mixed Ability World Rugby Union tournament held in Bradford.
Surprisingly archery is an important element at Ovenden Park . The Phoenix Bowmen have been members of the Club for some years. Around 30 male and female members attend the sessions on Saturday and Sunday mornings and the four championships held annually attract around 120 competitors.
Partnerships with Trinity Academy and Moorside school have further expanded the club into the community. It is estimated that there are over 100 sporting users of the Club each week during the rugby season.
New members, be they players or supporters, are welcome; they are assured of finding friends.
For a grass roots club, none of this would be possible without the back up of a significant number of dedicated volunteers who have served the club over the years and made Halifax Rugby Union club the deserving winners of the 2017 Community Involvement Award
For information on the club visit www.halifaxrugby.com