Hampstead Rugby Club is one of the oldest clubs in the world, but as only been active in its current form since the 1960s. Originally the Hampstead Heathens Sports Club was founded in 1863 and was the birthplace for other notable clubs, such as Harlequins, Wasps & Rosslyn Park. There was a 'temporary dissolution’ of the club at the start of the First World War & stayed dormant until 1967, when Mike Flynn & friends got together & re-formed the club.
It’s only since the turn of the Millennium that the club has expanded into other factions than running Senior Men’s rugby. 2005 saw us launch our Ladies section, which has been very successful, with the 1st team now competing in National divisions. 2007 we launched our Vets team, with many ex players returning to don the kit once again. And most exciting of all, in 2010 we launched the Junior section. From an initial 20 kids turning out from a taster session, we now have teams all the way from U6s thru to U18s, have participated in Festivals, have a few teams in league competitions & in 2013 launched a Girls section.
We are very community conscious and annually run summer ‘pitch up & play’ mixed touch rugby sessions open to all comers from the age of 12 & up. The club also hosts & provides volunteers to run the Camden Primary Schools Tag Festival, and offers taster sessions to competing schools either side of the tournament.
The advent of the Juniors led to the club signing up to the RFU’s All School Project, and now attracts a core of inner city kids. This has led us to actually delivering rugby classes in secondary schools as part of the curriculum.
Since 2016 we have delivered lessons at UCL Academy; Archers Academy; St Aloysius; William Ellis, Parliament Hill School for Girls and LSU, as well as several taster sessions at both secondary & primary state and independent schools. As this builds, we hope to host inter school matches, and hopefully develop either a league or an end of term tournament.
The club also has tie-ins with local universities. We have provided coaches to LSE 1st & 2nd XVs, assisted London Met Girls team (& now happily hosting their home matches), as well as providing coaching & joint training sessions with Middlesex University Ladies teams at their Hendon campus. We see this has a two way project, where our senior ranks, both men’s & women’s sections, get an influx of new players, and in turn, we can provide the students their first steps into coaching by delivering classes to the schools identified above.
The club is ambitious, not only to swell its playing ranks across all sections, but to make it a real part of the wider community. The club does receive small grants from the RFU to help fund the All Schools Project, but in reality, this only covers a term in a couple of institutions, and the rest is funded by the Club. Hampstead RFC have set up a steering committee, with the intention of sourcing funds to help sustain and expand our initiatives, and any leads would be gratefully received.
Community Liaison Officer