Why Bicester Rugby Union Football Club (RUFC)
Bicester RUFC is a family-friendly and inclusive non-profit Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC) where players can develop in an enjoyable and safe environment. Our overall mission is to grow the game of rugby in Bicester and the surrounding area through a long-term, player-centred approach to development.
We integrate the core rugby values of Teamwork, Respect, Enjoyment, Discipline, and Sportsmanship (TREDS) in everything we do – from ourUnder 5's, through the age grades and into our Senior sides.
We believe sponsorship of our club will deliver immense value, based on a marketing investment for financial return, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), or for the love of sport, rugby, and club.
Whatever your motivation, find out more below. Thank you for visiting our profile.
Why Sponsor Us?
Bicester RUFC's only source of income (other than holding fundraising events) is by relying on the generosity of local individuals and businesses to provide funding. Providing quality opportunities and experiences for players, does come at a high cost to the club and, without these contributions, the club would not be able to exist in its current form or be able to achieve the goals it has set for itself in the medium to long term.
The club is not-for-profit and reinvests all monies raised back into the club for the good of the community. As we do not own our own ground we have no overheads, which means we can scale our annual investment to meet our ambitions, ensuring the future sustainability of the club and the ability to provide opportunities to play rugby to people of all ages and abilities for many years to come.
Our Senior men being part of the Southern Counties North league means your marketing investment can be focused to maximise value to your business. With matches across our home county of Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, and Warwickshire and Gloucestershire – as well as teams visiting our grounds – your brand will be visible across five counties. We receive regular press coverage in the Oxford Mail and Bicester Advertiser, as well as Jack FM and BBC Oxford.
Our minis and juniors regularly enter competitions with the opportunity for national success, including at Leicester and Wasps. Our national recognition for our Minis section futher demostrates our reach.
The club has a flexible approach to sponsorship, with perks ranging from but not limited to:
– Physical advertisement on club assets (kit, clothing, balls, post protectors, hoardings etc.)
– Opportunities to sponsor and advertise at club events
– Captive audience of 1,000 club members (players, parents, and supporters) for exclusive business promotions through our membership benefit scheme
Alternative/supplementary perks can be arranged through negotiation dependent on the level of sponsor commitment
Whilst we are a community club, we are committed to giving you and your company the exposure and promotion you deserve. We recognise that without your support many of our members would not be enjoying their rugby at the weekend!
We integrate the core rugby values of Teamwork, Respect, Enjoyment, Discipline, and Sportsmanship (TREDS) in everything we do – from our Under 5s through the age grades and into our Senior sides.
Our Minis section were recently awarded RFU KidsFirst Champions status for our dedication to providing a positive environment for young children. We ensure that every age group has at least one RFU Level 2 qualified coach.
The club pays for coaches to attend regular CPDs so that they are well placed to deliver training sessions. By focusing on upskilling coaches the club has been able to improve player retention levels. Some players who had previously left the club have re-joined since Bicester RUFC adopted the Kids First approach, and in some age groups the number of players doubled.
As a community club, we are dependent on parent volunteers for all administrative and coaching positions. All volunteers who have contact with children are DBS checked.
We anticipate that this is just the start of a new beginning, with a bright future ahead.
On and off the pitch, the club’s ambition is to build on the progress our new board has made over the past 18 months.
We recently adopted our first five-year strategic plan with priorities in volunteer recruitment and retention, community engagement, facilities, player development, and welfare. Our enabling priorities of strong leadership and secure finances underpin our approach.
Volunteers: As a community rugby club, Bicester RUFC is entirely run by volunteers. We value and actively cultivate an engaged & well-trained army of volunteers – called Gamemakers due to their crucial role in making the rugby happen – with all positions filled to help spread the load. Our volunteers embody the Bicester values, and help the club to provide a quality player experience for us to achieve our Mission and Vision. We recognise the valuable contribution our volunteers make through our new valuing volunteers programme: Great Gamemakers.
Community: We aspire to have a schools and community rugby development programme that is recognised by Oxfordshire RFU, Sport England (and relevant others) as “best in class”. We want rugby to be the most attractive leisure offer in the town, the local community to see rugby as a vibrant local sport, and for the community to consider the club as playing a positive role in the town of Bicester.
Facilities: We want excellent and well-maintained facilities to attract and retain members and volunteers. By 2031, Bicester will have a need for 3 senior pitches, plus space for juniors and training, and the RFU consider that this is equivalent to a minimum of 4 pitches. We aspire for this to be on a single site, with security of tenure (or freehold) which is financially self-sustaining for the club.
Playing Offer: Our club focus is on player development and enjoyment of the game. We aspire to be the best environment for youth rugby in Oxfordshire. This focus on player development facilitates the focus on on-field success in the Seniors, adopting the England pathway approach: Age Grade rugby at Bicester explores the boundaries of player capabilities, Colts begins to build an understanding of tactical adaptation to win, and the Seniors (Foxes and Vixens) are focused on winning. We aspire for our Senior Men (Foxes) to secure promotion to Level 6 (South West 1 East) within the next 5 years, and Vixens to enter in a league by 2023. We aim to provide an opportunity for social rugby through O2 Touch, and a social/Veterans full-contact team which helps keep players in the game for longer.
Welfare: Safety and protection for players and volunteers is of paramount importance. The club is a champion of RugbySafe, ensures a safe playing and training environment for players and children, and protection for members and the club from unforeseen circumstances. All volunteers coming into contact with children are DBS cleared, with regular renewals undertaken. We are pioneering support for mental health in rugby within Oxfordshire.
Strong Leadership: The Club Board of Directors aims to provide strong and diverse leadership, with good governance, and a balanced focus on people, process and performance in running the club. We aspire for club communication to be open and transparent, with the Club Committee playing a vital role delivering the Club’s Strategic Plan, and driving membership engagement.
Secure Finances: The Club aims to complete each season with a surplus, with comprehensive sponsorship and active fundraising programmes. Our membership structure aims to offer excellent value for money, benchmarked against other clubs in the region. As a Company Limited by Guarantee, all profits and revenues are ploughed back into the club to help deliver on our mission and vision.
The idea of a Rugby Union Football Club in Bicester was conceived over a pint of beer during a conversation between Ken Herman and Roger Smith in the White Hart public house towards the end of 1947. In those early years, Bicester were often short of numbers and were indebted to both Bicester Barracks and RAF Bicester who supplied most of the players, whilst the club recruited from the local farming community and Grammar School.
One of the earliest highlights was for the club to reach the final of the Oxfordshire Open Sevens in 1954. He continued to play for Bicester and played for both club and country (Wales) on successive Saturdays in 1958, going on to collect 27 caps for his country. Within two years of first wearing a Bicester jersey, he was also called up for duty with the British Lions in 1959 and then again in 1962.
Throughout the 1960s, players used to assemble for away matches on Market Square, with wives and girlfriends sharing the cooking in the wooden hut on the Bicester Sports Association playing fields at Oxford Road. Jack Gomarsall brought his son Andy Gomarsall through the Bicester age groups, and he went on to lead a successful career with some of England's biggest clubs, including Wasps, Gloucester and Harlequins, and collected 35 caps for his country.
The club kicked off the nineties as runners up in the County Senior Cup against Banbury, followed with two consecutive visits to Twickenham in 1991 and 1992 in the Provincial Insurance Rugby Cup Final (precursor to the RFU Junior Vase), losing to Bradford Salem on both occasions. The shirt he wore whilst being chased down by Jonah Lomu in a 65 metre break away try on his first outing for England against the Barbarians is on display in the Trophy Bar.
Bicester Women, under Kat Davies's leadership, formed our first women's team, the Vixens, in 2017, which joined the 17 teams we currently support, with nearly 400 active registered players aged from 5 to 50, regularly playing in matches across Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire, and at National Level 7, in the Southern Counties (North) League.