Since arriving in Scarborough as an eight-year-old I’ve always thought of the town, in sporting terms at least, as a football town.
Indeed, I have fond memories of being stood in The Shed at the McCain Stadium, cheering on the likes of Jason Rockett and Jason White – he had no hair but we didn’t care! – with my mates from school, and witnessing some heady nights in the FA and League Cups against the likes of Chelsea and Arsenal respectively.
There has always been a plethora of junior football teams and thriving senior leagues in the town too, and the majority of boys I teach on a daily basis are football players or supporters in one form or another (increasingly of the FIFA franchise on their Xboxes and Playstations).
However, in recent years, with the sad demise of Scarborough FC and the afore mentioned McCain Stadium (or the Athletic Ground to give it its rightful and proper name), and with the superb development of Scarborough RUFC’s Silver Royd facility – including the hosting of Sunday’s international fixture between England Colleges and Irish Exiles (don’t get me started on the ‘ridiculous-objections-to-the-national-anthem-debacle’ as I like to call it), together with Scarborough Pirates’ recent successes on the field, I can’t help but feel we may just be in the midst of a rugby revolution in the town.
I realise that with Scarborough Athletic securing the NCEL Premier championship last weekend – congratulations to Rudy Funk and his charges by the way – this may seem like an odd time to suggest such a paradigm shift could be taking place.
However, I feel that rugby (of both codes) is in a healthier position than it’s ever been before in the town.
Junior rugby is thriving at Scarborough RUFC and Yorkshire Coast Titans RLFC, while the former’s first-team is the best supported team in the town in terms of attendance figures. And Scarborough Pirates too, with their band of loyal and vocal fans, are not far behind with good attendances at their home matches at Eastway.
I have a good feeling about the direction rugby in the town is going these days and I firmly believe it’s a great time to become a part of the rugby revolution, whether that’s with Yorkshire Coast Titans, Scarborough Pirates, Scarborough RUFC, or, if like me you’re a rugby glutton, how about getting involved in all three!
A whistle-stop tour of all other things rugby league in the town now:
Firstly, Scarborough Pirates’ summer campaign in Yorkshire Division one kicks off next weekend on Saturday May 4 at their Eastway Sports and Social Club home against East Leeds at 2:30pm.
The club are still keen to recruit players to the side, as once again the Pirates will be running two teams this season. Anyone wishing to play is welcome to join training on Wednesday evenings at 6pm at Eastway.
The Pirates will be looking resplendent this season as they have just launched their own clothing range.
Their new garb is genuinely very good and is available, for those of you keen to support the Pirates, via their Facebook page.
There’ll be a far more in depth preview to the Pirates’ forthcoming season in next week’s Farrell’s Forum.
Next, Super League Champions Leeds Rhinos are launching a Yorkshire Coast Supporters Group on Friday May 10, 7.30pm at Hunmanby Sports & Social Club.
The Super League trophy will be present for photo opportunities and it is intended that there with be a question and answer session with a Leeds Rhinos Player.
The supporters group is free to join and members will receive benefits including special offers, invitations to exclusive events and the opportunity to meet with other fans on a regular basis.
They will be meeting every month to discuss the Rhinos, meet other fans socially and watch rugby league together, as well as organise trips to watch the Rhinos.
For further information on the scheme or to register your interest to attend contact firstname.lastname@example.org, visit their Facebook page ‘Yorkshire Coast Leeds Rhinos Supporters Group’, or contact email@example.com.
Item number three now. A gentle reminder that Yorkshire Coast Titans brand new under-eights team will be holding their first ever training session on Tuesday April 30 at Eastway from 6pm until 7pm.
All boys aged from (nearly) six up to eight are welcome to attend the session which will lead by local rugby heavyweights, Nick Burgess, Tom Ratcliffe, Nick Ingham and yours truly.
We hope to see as many of you there as possible.
And lastly. Scarborough’s very own Kriss Brining continued his great try-scoring form for York City Knights this season with another brace against Toulouse in the Tetley’s Challenge Cup.
The Knights ran out narrow 30-28 winners with Kriss’ second try proving decisive, the second time he’s scored the match-winning try this season.
Keep up the good work KB.