LONDON WELSH MINI
Established in 1885, our unique rugby club has a colourful and glorious history that spans both the amateur and professional era. We have, rightly, returned to an amateur status but our ambition and passion is undimmed. We want to continue building a rugby club where community comes first, and what lies at the heart of London Welsh is an unwavering commitment to preserve and nurture the core values of rugby;
Teamwork, Respect, Enjoyment, Discipline, Sportsmanship
Rugby is a wonderful team sport where lifelong friendships and bonds are forged – on and off the field. And at London Welsh we have created a warm, open club atmosphere where all our members can play, socialise, support, network and relax in the historic setting of Old Deer Park.
Membership - We’d love you and your family to join us.
Anyone can become a member. We welcome all ages, sexes, playing abilities – and nationalities from the world over. We have several Men’s teams, a fast-growing and successful Women’s team and a thriving Minis and Youth section where we introduce children to rugby in a structured and safe environment starting with our Little Wizards (under 6’s). Our Minis and Youth age groups also include two Girls teams (U13s and U15s) which we created in 2019 to meet unprecedented demand and whose ranks have continued to swell! We also offer free, mixed-ability O2 Touch rugby sessions on a Thursday night to anyone who just fancies a run-out in the shadow of the iconic Kew Pagoda. We also run occasional touch tournaments where we encourage all members to join a team and come and be part of a fun afternoon out on the paddock. And, of course, there’s plenty of socialising to be had – at the ground and in the clubhouse, on match days and throughout the week.
As a final word, no amateur rugby club like London Welsh can exist without the generous and unconditional support of its volunteer coaches and parents. Our volunteer group is the heart and soul of the club and plays a vital role in our continued growth and success. It’s why we can also make a promise that when you join London Welsh, you will be offered a ‘croeso’ like no other.
NEW PLAYERS – WHERE FUTURE DRAGONS ARE MADE!
For the children and volunteer coaches Sunday morning in the Minis is the best morning of the whole week. We welcome new players, both girls and boys, who want to give rugby a try!
We aim to develop players who are free to express themselves and play “what’s in front of them”. We do this by emphasizing inclusivity and following a simple philosophy and framework, one that is fostered by the RFU and shared by many of our brethren at neighbouring rugby clubs:
1. Our children come first in everything they do and the decisions they make
2. We encourage fun on the pitch and on the sidelines by creating realistic expectations of your children
3. We endeavour to develop children’s character as rugby players and as people, and challenge any behaviour that runs counter to this
4. We develop the skills of our adult volunteers to provide a safe, healthy, and respectful environment for both our children and parents / carers
5. We champion rugby’s core values of TREDS Teamwork, Respect, Enjoyment, Discipline, Sportsmanship and aim to forge a life-long bond between children, adults, and sport.
The game we play
Mini Rugby is player-focused and aims to help children develop and learn the game at their own pace ensuring they have plenty of fun while playing competitively.
Mini Rugby starts at London Welsh with our Little Wizards for children of 5 years of age. A child’s age group is based on their age on 1 September, and so follows school years as below:
School Year Rugby Age Group
Reception/Year 1 U6 (“Little Wizards”)
Year 2 U7
Year 3 U8
Year 4 U9
Year 5 U10
Year 6 U11
Year 7 U12
Game development through age groups
At the U6 level, the emphasis is on fun and skill development, through the medium of non-contact ‘Tag’ Rugby - a variation of the game whereby a ‘tackle’ is performed through the removal of a plastic ‘Tag’ that is otherwise attached to a velcro belt that is around the players waist. There is an incremental introduction to competitive games within the year group only as we do not play other clubs at this stage.
Through U7 and U8, we continue to play Tag Rugby whilst formal competitive games are introduced through playing ‘Festivals’ and via fixtures / joint training with other clubs. Rugby clubs each take turns to host these ‘Festivals’ and joint training session, which are always great fun and allow us to experience our neighbours’ excellent hospitality. Festivals usually involve between 4-6 teams who compete against each other on a Sunday morning (or sometimes afternoon), over a series of matches.
Full contact rugby is introduced from U9 and with each subsequent year modest changes to the rules are introduced as children progress towards Junior Rugby. For example, in U9, there is no contest for the ball after a tackle, at U10 rucks and mauls are introduced, whilst kicking is only introduced to the game from U11 onwards.
Location - when and where we train
Please be aware that timings in 2021 are subject to change due to Covid restrictions, so we would advise you to check with the age group team manager and the club news pages for latest up to date info.
The Minis (U6 to U12) train every Sunday at London Welsh RFC, Old Deer Park, from 09:15 to 11.15am. There is parking available but we also recommend that you do your bit for the environment by walking or cycling to the ground if you can - or even consider car sharing.
The sessions start promptly at 9.15am but we recommend you turn up 15 minutes before to ensure that your child is ready to play once the session starts. The first few weeks of the season are also very busy with registering players so please bear this in mind. Junior rugby operates from 11.30 until 1pm , although this can vary depending on fixtures etc.
Equipment - what you need to bring
All balls, tag belts, tackle bags and other equipment necessary for playing are provided by the club. All you need to bring are boots (we discourage ‘blades’ - studs should be rounded, and not have edges), be dressed adequately for the weather, and from U9 upwards, bring a gumshield which is essential to partake in contact Rugby. Once you become a member you may decide to buy our excellent kit which you can do so on Sunday mornings via the ‘Dragon’s Lair’ Club Shop which is situated in the clubhouse. U7 and over should all wear the official Minis Shirt which is reversible red/black. Bring along a water bottle and some snacks for break times. Hungry children and volunteers can enjoy a post-training breakfast and cuppa in the club bar and kitchen also located within the clubhouse.
Our Coaches, Team managers, Referees and First Aiders are all parents and volunteers
Every London Welsh age group has its own coaching structure with a Head Coach, leading a team of Coaches, first aiders and team managers. Invariably our Coaches will have a child in the group they are coaching and whilst many draw experience from having played the game, there are those who are new to rugby but want to get involved in some capacity. You do NOT have to have played rugby to be a coach, and we want mums, dads and guardians to be comfortable with the idea of becoming a volunteer.
Our club couldn’t function without our volunteers, so new candidates are always encouraged & welcomed, and we support our coaches through a variety of courses run by the club and RFU. Sometimes these are run at London Welsh, but when that is not the case the courses are usually hosted at a neighbouring rugby club. All coaches, team managers, and first aiders are – without exception – DBS checked. The club arranges First aid courses for First Aiders. All courses are paid for by the club.
We’d love to have you with us. To join you will need to register and pay via this website. Please visit our Membership page here for all the information you need, including fees and steps required to register.