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Our Mini Committee was formed in April 2016 to promote and invigorate our mini section. This was coupled by the launch of another local club mini section who will potentially target a significant proportion of our members next season.

I'm pleased to report that we have retained 100% of our coaches and the feedback is positive into the efforts the Mini section is going to improve and grow the section.

The Committee is responsible for growing the P1-P7 section. Whist remaining very much part of the Aberdeen Grammar Rugby club we are now responsible for setting our own budget and running the division. All the members of the committee are parents and coaches. It is chaired by Garry Price, whose experience in the business sector is to our benefit as he instils innovation, drive and energy into the committee. He is ably supported by Convenor Jane Melhuish who brings valuable marketing experience and terrific organisation. Various additional roles have now been allocated which utilise the experience of given individuals; for example, Chris Mackenzie has been appointed as Coaching Coordinator to help drive a coaching plan for the season ahead. We have a dedicated committee member, Mark Palmer, who is focused on the training of first aid and arranging sufficient cover for events. Not forgetting our Fixtures Secretary and Events focused members who are looking to achieve an active and fun calendar of events for our members for the season ahead.

Events: Some of the events that we are looking to introduce early in the season are: a Taster event at Rubislaw on the 4th of September to encourage children from local schools to come along and meet the coaches and enjoy a session with fun and games; a Mini Festival on the 2nd of October to increase the number of games and interaction with other clubs - we will arrange for all age groups to take part in this event; and a family fireworks night on the 6th November at the Clubhouse.

Initiatives: Since April we have introduced some initiatives which included encouraging children from all schools to come and try rugby. For this we attended school fairs before the summer holidays which provided the opportunity to talk to parents about what we do and we also gave kids the opportunity to run through some drills with our experienced coaches which was vey well received! We decide that given the current economic climate in Aberdeen that it was only right to reflect this in the fees, so we decided to reduce P3-P7 fees for the 2016-17 season. We appointed a member to focus on website development and another to raise awareness of the section through social media. A key consideration for the committee was communication across the section (eg, last minute changes to training sessions). A private group Facebook page has now been set up to be the central platform for members to access; this will also provide details for all new events, festivals, tournaments, etc.

Coaching: All our coaches undertake ongoing training )to Level 1) and our dedicated team are looking to expand on this in 2016-17, specifically all coaches and helpers must take the Rugby Right online safety course (refer to SRU website). They are also integrating with other bodies to look at best practice and initiatives going forward to make Aberdeen Rugby Minis the Club of choice to try rugby, make new friends and have some fun!

The Mini Committee is a great addition to the club. Please provide as much support as possible to ensure its continued success in continuing to grow mini rugby on the city..

To keep up to date with all our news go to www.aberdeenrugby.org.uk or find us on Facebook as 'Aberdeen Rugby Minis Group'. If you have any questions or comments please contact us on minis@grammar.stoneponydev.co.uk.