Battersea Ironsides has been revealed as one of six grassroots clubs in with a chance to win the inaugural Gallagher ‘Rugby Club of the Season’ title.
This is a nationwide competition run by the insurance broker to champion grassroots rugby and inspire the game’s next generation of players.
The search began in November 2019 to find clubs that could demonstrate their contribution to the community, both on and off-the-pitch; their inclusive approach to providing opportunities in rugby across age, gender, ethnicity and ability; and their innovative ways of increasing participation in the sport at a grassroots level.
Ironsides was recognised for its strong ethos of inclusivity across the South West London community and wide range of initiatives that have seen it build a club with thousands of active participants - including 1200 juniors and more than 300 volunteers.
Commenting on the news, Rob Newman, club chairman said: “Our club mantra is ‘rugby for all’ and we’re delighted that Gallagher has recognised the work we do to make the game more accessible.
"Our aim is to provide as many players as possible with a competitive standard of rugby to match their ability, as well as the coaching and life skills they need to have an excellent chance of success outside of the sport.”
Through its involvement with charitable organisations, Ironsides members also use rugby-based intervention to work with prisons and young offender institutes across London and the south east. The club encourages players to get involved in coaching sessions at Wandsworth Prison, and a number of its senior players have played matches at Feltham Young Offender Institute.
It also stood out for having grown a ladies squad from zero to more than 70 in less than four years.As a finalist, Ironsides Rugby will receive a training session with stars from Harlequins, Gilbert training equipment worth up to £1000, and a Gallagher-led business-focused event to help the club and community off-the-pitch.