PLAYING at Twickenham was an undoubted highlight of last season for Old Brodleians – even though it was the girls who stepped out at Headquarters.
The Under 13s played in the curtain-raiser to the England v Samoa rugby union international and while that caught the eye, the Halifax club made great strides both on and off the pitch.
Chairman Richard Turner reported that the club had enjoyed an excellent season at all levels in his address to the annual meeting.
After a poor start to the season, the first XV had shown great spirit rising from the bottom of a tough Yorkshire League One to a final finish of sixth after a revival in the second half of the season.
The Development (2nd XV) team also started poorly, but responded with a fine run of form beating all-comers to finish in second place in the Yorkshire Merit Championship.
Similarly, the Beavers had enjoyed their first season of league rugby and been in good form, attracting new players and achieving the runners-up spot in their league.
The Colts had challenged in all competitions and finished third in a closely-fought Premiership, were County Cup finalists and Northern Divisional Plate champions.
The Juniors enjoyed another successful season and the girls section – the Brodettes – showed a remarkable rate of growth with teams at Under 13, 15 and 18 age groups.
Turner continued: “One of the highlights of their season was the invitation for the U13s to play on the hallowed turf at Twickenham last November.
“We have also been successful in renewing our club sponsorship deal with Coral Windows.
“That, in the wake of the Danny Jones tragedy(the Keighley Cougars RL player died in hospital after collapsing while playing at London Skolars), has enabled the club to use a proportion of the funding to purchase a defibulator, which has now been installed in the players’ tunnel.
“The club has also reached its target of raising £9,990 for our charity partners, Yorkshire Air Ambulance, and a cheque for over £10,000 will shortly be presented.
“Development of the clubhouse and Woodhead Park site has continued this summer with the fitting of new doors and a patio-viewing area beside the clubhouse.
“The ladies’ new rest room has had a superb makeover and the entrance hall has been improved into a bright and welcoming space supported by a £10,000 grant from the RFU in respect of improvements to social spaces.
“Going forward, the club has installed a new BioMass boiler, providing not only cheaper heating and hot water but also a monthly income from which, within five years, it will have paid for itself and will, ultimately, provide an income for the club for a guaranteed period of 20 years.
“Planning permission has been sought and given for an extension to the changing rooms, doubling the size of our current changing facilities together with a first floor gym and storage area.
“Similarly, the club have received planning permission to level the training areas and provide a full size level playing field and a smaller junior pitch.”
Having thanked the numerous volunteers and committee members for their continued efforts the majority of the existing committee were re-elected.
Turner says that the Brods have an exciting season ahead including additional local derbies which will only make Yorkshire One stronger.