Where can kids play rugby in the Wimbledon area, what time does training start and info on Wimbledon RFC's mini and youth teams?

Every Sunday at 10am from September to late April at Wimbledon Rugby Club, 550+ kids have a great time playing rugby. We're found at Beverley Meads, at the end of Barham Road, Copse Hill, Wimbledon, SW20 OET. You can find us here

The Minis & Youth section of Wimbledon Rugby Club is an integral part of the rugby club and makes a full contribution to the club and wider Wimbledon community. Our aim is to introduce the game to the children in a safe and supportive environment, so that they learn, above all, to enjoy the game and play it in the right team spirit. Whilst we like to be competitive, we measure our success not in trophies won but in the number of children who return to the club season after season, eventually to progress to playing youth rugby and, hopefully, senior rugby at the club.

Unlike our neighbouring rugby clubs that struggle for space, one of Wimbledon RFC's great strengths is that we have 9 pitches all on one site at Wimbledon RFC, all laid out in front of our magnificent and welcoming clubhouse.

If your kids are interested in playing rugby at Wimbledon Rugby Football Club

Teamwork • Respect • Enjoyment • Discipline • Sportsmanship
We currently have in excess of 550 children registered in our Minis & Youth section and we welcome all players, both boys and girls, of all abilities, from keen novices to potential internationals. Our objective is to instil in our players confidence, determination and self-belief while developing agility, skills, fitness, teamwork and discipline both on and off the field. We aim to encourage players to perform at the best of their abilities, to be gracious in victory, magnanimous in defeat and respectful to the officials, the opposition and their teammates.

What we teach through the age groups
We start at Under 5s and Under 6s, having fun whilst teaching basic passing and support play; then we introduce competitive tag rugby in the Under 7s. Contact is introduced in a controlled environment at Under 9 and then developed right the way through to playing a full contact game at Under 11 and Under 12. Our coaches are encouraged and supported to attend RFU sanctioned courses and we run a number of these coaching (and refereeing) courses at the club throughout the year, resulting in us being able to offer a very high level of coaching in the Minis & Youth section.

New for 2023 - Rugger Rascals for boys and girls from 18 months upwards
Check out our dedicated page to read about our new courses for 18 months + sessions for pre-schoolers run by our good friends at Rugger Rascals.

Wimbledon RFC commit to England Rugby's Half Game initiative.
Following a trail in some English clubs, there's lots of new evidence that game time is the most important factor for kids enjoying rugby. The Half Game initiative - ensuring every player in a match squad gets half a game's-worth of time on the pitch - will be mandatory in all clubs and schools. This applies to U7-U18s.

England Rugby have followed the All Blacks who have successfully been doing this for a while. And they know a thing or two about the game...

Local area
Our players come from a wide range of local, and not so local, areas – including Barnes, Putney, Roehampton, Battersea, Wandsworth, Wimbledon, New Malden and Kingston.

Working with local schools and local authority
We're really pleased to work with our local council, London Borough of Merton, a champion of rugby in our area's schools. All children from Merton's schools are very welcome to come and play rugby at Wimbledon RFC.

A busy season of matches and festivals
We work hard to ensure that all players from under U7 upwards and across the ability range have the opportunity of participating in competitive rugby including hosting home festivals and fixtures as well as attending away fixtures as guests of clubs in the surrounding area. U5s and U6s don't play matches and festivals but train at the club each week.

Child protection
We take the protection and safety of our players very seriously with a graduated introduction and development of the game and ensure that all on-field helpers are DBS checked and suitably qualified personnel. See http://wmrfc.co.uk/childprot for more information.

If you are here for just a year or two - on business or just visiting - and want your kids to play some rugby, just come on a Sunday and try out Wimbledon! You will be made to feel very welcome.

Wimbledon Mini & Youth Rugby Club - a brief history

Wimbledon Rugby Football Club came into existence over 150 years ago... but it was not blessed with a mini’s section until more recently. The Club's first team had done well under the captaincy and coaching of Jim Green and so, rather than allow him to join the rest of the O.F.s on the committee Jim was asked to set up a mini section. This he duly did, during the 97/98 season.

A small group of children eventually became the under 7s and under 8s and Wimbledon Mini’s were born. The philosophy of the club was simple; this was to be a place where children had fun and learned to love and play rugby. A very small group of parents helped it develop, but for a while the only official positions were Jim as chair and head coach and Dawn as secretary, kit lady, treasurer, and just about everything else.

The club grew year on year from the bottom up as a new group of 6 year olds became the under 7s each season. As the club grew so did the need for organisation and information. A few more parents came to the rescue and formed an informal committee to run the club from. At this point the clubs links with the main club were pretty limited and this group found their own way forward.

After 5 years Mini rugby was gaining in popularity and an under 6s group was formed to accommodate the growing band of 5 year olds who wanted to play the RFU approved game of touch rugby that was so much fun. The following season this game was to morph into the tag game our youngest three age groups play today.

This was also a watershed season for the club. Jim was still at the helm but Dawn had gone and been replaced by at least half a dozen volunteers helping to run the club. The club was a popular one with many parents stating they chose WMRFC because of its friendly atmosphere. It was growing all the time and at this point Jim decided the club was ready for a new chair and he neatly passed the ball onto a new chair and the informal committee

During the course of the next season the committee was added to and infrastructure established that formalised many of the rules that “everybody knew”; like each age group had a head coach and at least one coach in every age group was qualified. Shouting at children was not acceptable and team managers took on communication for their group. The formalising of the team manger role was widely held to have improved the operation of the club more than any other single improvement.

As well as moving the administrative matters on we also set out to continue to improve the reputation of the club. As well as being a nice place to play and visit we also wanted to be a club known for the quality of the rugby played. Alongside putting more and more volunteer coaches through training courses, the fixture list was steadily improved thanks to sterling work by the fixture secretary and a growing realisation by other clubs that we were a club they wanted to play against.

We also put ourselves up for assessment by the RFU and applied for and received the RFU seal of approval and the Clubmark accreditation. This meant we had to have an acceptable constitution, development plan and other supporting documentation but also pass a field assessment that assessed the standards of coaching and safety measures taken. The overall philosophy of the club was not changed though and a place where children have fun and learn to love and play rugby is enshrined in our constitution.

The fun is not limited to the young players as the coaches and managers have their share as well. This is either through social events or playing touch rugby on a Thursday evening. We also able to boast that several of our coaches regularly turn out for Wimbledon stroller (vets) team.

The size of the club is now such that we have had to expand into the neighbouring fields or we would just not fit everyone into the space available. The clubs has a 50-year lease on the main grounds and is in the process of agreeing a 30-year lease on the grounds next door. The fact that this is being done is testimony to another change. The Mini & Youth section are now very much part of WRFC and applying for the lease supports this as our need is as high as that of the main club. The main club enjoys being part of a wider rugby community, particularly with a mini section as strong as ours. It is also looking forward to a few first team players coming through and in the meantime enjoys our other contributions like painting the club house and laying a new floor as a willing band of volunteers did recently, or watching the new TV we provided the year after.

Wimbledon Minis and Youth RFC is in a strong position to continue to make a positive contribution to the area and to rugby. We can’t be complacent however. Many of the rules and ideas we have put in place in recent years, because we thought they were a good idea, are now compulsory if we want to maintain our registration and we need to keep up the good work that has got us to this stage.

Equally importantly we are now ready for a new chapter in our history. We now have teams from under 5 to under 18. Our youth teams consistently do well in their respective leagues and we field players at county level on a regular basis.

So what’s next?
Well that’s up to you, get involved and you’ll not only find out but have the satisfaction of helping to make it happen.

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