Honiton RFC get superb sponsorship from Exeter-based EMCAS

Honiton under 12s, The Raptors, with Craig Bernhardt CEO of EMCAS (centre) and coaches; Back Left -

Honiton under 12s, The Raptors, with Craig Bernhardt CEO of EMCAS (centre) and coaches; Back Left - Bernie Little, Back Centre Left - Ray Levy, Back Right - Geraint Johns - Credit: Archant

Exeter-based EMCAS, one of the country’s leading financial Claims Management Companies, is backing the grass roots of rugby through its sponsorship of Honiton RRFC.

The company, which also has sponsorships in place with Exeter Chiefs has a personal interest in the club as Craig Bernhardt, CEO of EMCAS, supports the Honiton Under-12s team, the Raptors, in which his son Dom plays at weekends.

Commenting on its sponsorship of the club and the Under-12s team kit, Craig Bernhardt, who lives near Stockland, said: “It’s great to see the young boys building their skills, stamina, confidence and love of the game of rugby. But this doesn’t happen without a dedicated team of volunteers who give their time to the club and its player’s week in and week out. Honiton RFC is an inspiring club and just as EMCAS sponsors the Exeter Chiefs at the top flight of the game, we felt it appropriate to support the sport at the grass roots level too, as this is where we’ll find the stars of the future.”

Richard Hodges, Honiton RFC Sponsorship and Marketing Manager, added: “As a club we rely on our players, supporters and sponsors to aid in the development of the mini and junior section. We have a strong committed team who rely on financial and technical aid to drive the club forward. The new EMCAS sponsored kit helps bond the Under-12s players and makes them feel part of something special. This already appears to be paying off as the Raptors have done well in their opening games of the season with a great result on Sunday beating a physical Tiverton side. As we enter the winter months the jackets supplied by EMCAS will keep players and coaches warm during training and match days.”

Honiton RFCs mini and junior sections have been running for over seven years and have grown steadily each year.

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They have helped widen access to the sport within the town, sparking interest in the game of rugby; something that the club as a whole has been working hard to deliver.

The club prides itself on providing support to local schools and promoting the game in the wider community. The ultimate aim of the mini and junior section is to provide a safe and enjoyable platform to encourage young people of the community, of any ability, to fully appreciate and respect the game of rugby. The club hopes that these players will one day go on to become members of the senior section of Honiton RFC who may then go on to achieve greater things at a professional level.

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The ethos of the club is to support anyone with an interest in the game, to help them develop at their pace, with each player having the full support of the club’s network of coaches, managers, ex-players, supporters and senior players.

This summer witnessed the start of proposed developments to Honiton RFC’s Clubhouse, originally constructed in 1982. Under these plans the club will see the addition of two changing rooms, a lounge dedicated to ambulant disabled access, new WC’s, and a referees’ room. The kitchen will be relocation and improved, the existing shower facility will be updated, and storage capacity will be increased.

Commenting on these developments, Michael Huskins, chairman of Honiton RFC, said: “Over the last couple of years the committee has seen a significant uptake in memberships, which has come about as a combination of the expansion of the local community and general interest in the game. Our plans are designed to keep up with the town’s growth, ensuring that we can cater for all those who wish to join the club and experience all we can offer. We are pushing to cater for anyone to enjoy the sport, which in the future will include wider female playing participation, beyond that of the mini and junior teams. We are a One Club culture founded on the core values of Teamwork, Respect, Enjoyment, Discipline, and Sportsmanship and we hope to impart this to players at all levels. The ability to work well within a team in a structured manner and the interaction of members that comes after games and training is an important life skill, and one Honiton RFC is hoping to provide on a wider scale moving forward.”

Honiton RFC welcomes support of all kinds and a wide variety of sponsorships are available to local businesses. Local volunteers can contact the club’s project leader Jeremy Rice on 07969980963 or by emailing Jeremy.rice@btinternet.com.

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