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Rugbytots Somerset.

Rugbytots Somerset.

Oct 6, 2020

Gareth Turnbull was Steve Carpenter’s guest on the Breakfast Show on Tuesday 6th October, here’s a little about Rugbytots in Somerset!

Rugbytots Somerset was established in October 2019, by Street based, father of two, Gareth Turnbull. In a year where no one could have foreseen the challenges which lay ahead. Rugbytots is a toddler play programme providing girls and boys from 2 to 7 years old with the opportunity to get involved in a structured team sport. In 12 months, Rugbytots Somerset grew from a new start business to the best performing franchise in the whole of the UK (stretching back 2 years), despite the challenges it faced.

Being self-employed for less than one year, Gareth did not receive any government support during lockdown and his family of four depended solely on his wife’s income as a teacher. Just before lockdown started, Rugbytots Somerset was off to a promising start with an enthusiastic reception in the Somerset communities. On the weekend of 22nd March, lockdown happened and Rugbytots, like so many small businesses ceased trading, not to restart for four months. During lockdown, Rugbytots Somerset ran free live classes, live streamed bedtime stories and birthday shoutouts to all the children who had been attending and, finaly on the 4th July it relaunched with a new COVID safe, outdoors programme. Since July the franchise grew from roughly 80 to now over 300 children, getting the opportunity to regularly play outdoors and be active. Classes are led by the growing team of 16 trained and qualified Rugbytots coaches, with the most recent new location based in Bridgwater.

Max Web, founder of Rugbytots UK, said “Gareth took the franchise for Somerset last Autumn. In a year he has built 7 venues with 308 children. Making Rugbytots Somerset the fastest growing franchisee we have ever had. I have no doubt we can all learn from Gareth and his positive and energetic approach to running the business.” Gareth now hopes to maintain these very positive enrolment figures, with a carefully designed, fun programme of classes, as well as partnerships with local rugby clubs to offer the children a pathway into the next stage in their sport. Gareth said “Rugbytots Somerset has been successful because we care so deeply about our opportunity to work with children of all abilities and backgrounds. We owe it to all of these amazing children to make a lasting impression and give them the very best possible experience. On top of the physical health benefits, the most obvious outcome of Rugbytots is a boost in self-esteem, making the children proud of their own abilities and successes, spurred on by their teammates. I’m confident that if our coaches are the best they can be, and our classes are professionally run, then the children will be happy, and we will succeed.” COVID has been an opportunity for Rugbytots to engage with families who may have otherwise been busy doing other activities. We have been able to continue running socially distanced classes, with strict hand hygiene and equipment sanitisation, as well as utilising community outdoor spaces. Rugbytots coach, Chris Holt says “We are the children’s super heroes, and our reward is the look of happiness on their faces each weekend.”

If Rugbytots Somerset is allowed to continue classes while COVID is present, they plan to continue recruiting new coaches and will introduce two additional venues in Spring 2021. The Mayor of Frome attended one of the classes recently, building on the already substantial support which the Frome town council provided to Rugbytots. Ensuring that Frome was hosting one of the best Rugbytots classes in the country. Click Here for more details. 

Even former international Rugby Star, Sir Gareth Edwards got behind Gareth. “learning the basics and coordination as well as playing as a team are vitally important at that young age. I wish Gareth every success with Rugbytots Somerset.” Rugbytots Somerset currently runs classes in Frome, Sidcot, Wells, Glastonbury, Bridgwater, Yeovil and Gillingham each weekend. They actively encourage families to come along for a free trial, any weekend, with a free open day at Sidcot Junior School on the 10th October.

To enquire, contact Gareth on gareth@rugbytots.co.uk  or visit www.rugbytots.co.uk 

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