In what I can only describe as a serious error of judgement the SRU has agreed to publish a set of ambitious targets via the press but has not seen fit to engage with its major stakeholders and, presumably the bodies expected to deliver against these targets, in agreeing the content – i.e. the clubs.
They are now undertaking a series of ‘communication meetings’ with clubs across the country to explain the targets. (The Glasgow presentation was Wednesday evening).
I have no problem with ambitious targets and would expect Hawks and all of the rugby concerns at Anniesland to work towards these. But what are they based on? How realistic are they? How are they to be achieved?
As I say, we have not seen the document so there may be perfectly sound research behind the numbers but on the face of it they seem a bit over-optimistic to me. To illustrate:
• A growth in adult participation of 35% and youth participation of 38% in 5 years.
Nice idea, but Sportscotland estimate growth in sporting club participation of 2-4% per annum.
• Find an additional 8,000 volunteers to run teams, clubs etc.
Also a good idea but Sportscotland report a 5% increase in volunteer activity around sports organisations in the past year. If we assume that there are, say 10,000 volunteers in rugby (i.e. more volunteers than adult players!) then based on the 5% figure we could, optimistically see an increase of 2,500 in 5 years, A bit short of the 8,000.
I could, of course be being very unfair and the strategy may demonstrate that the targets are achievable and illustrate the means of getting there. So we look forward to the New Year with great anticipation when we will be allowed to read the document.