Birmingham & Solihull RFC ‘Bees’ were delighted to hear that they had retained the sponsorship support of local family business Oakland International for the next three-years.
The Bees are effectively a small business with significant overheads including energy costs, pitch and estates maintenance, so having the knowledge that Oakland International have committed to supporting them for another three years means they can continue to plan and develop for future generations of players.
Chair and Head of Senior Rugby at Birmingham & Solihull RFC, Dr Arturo Lupoli or ‘Lou’ explained: “Oakland International’s support for the next 3 years is invaluable as it allows us to invest in our youth section and our infrastructure which, given that much of it was built in the 60’s, requires much tender, loving care. It also means we can employ a physio to support the rehabilitation of injured players and work with them to promote injury prevention.”
The club’s first team have a strong history of semi-professional rugby and although those days are now gone the club is still a vibrant community rugby club. Bees have had a successful youth section, with some players signing professional contracts outside of Bees. One of these was Noah Heward, who now plays for Premiership side Bristol Bears, and is formerly a Worcester Warriors player, playing with many of the current squad at youth level.
Added Lou: “Our new squad is made up of players that have overall, come through our youth system with an average age of under 23. Unfortunately, the pandemic has had a significant impact on numbers, but our ambition is still to play at level 7 of the rugby pyramid by 2025, that’s why so much focus is now on returning our youth section to its former cohort of some 250 youngsters spanning all age groups.”
Oakland International’s Redditch Depot Manager Luke Attwell, and son of owners Dean and Sallie Attwell said: “Oakland have been an avid supporter of the Bee’s for over 15 years, both formally and informally, with former chairman Dai Phillips developing the relationship with my parents when I joined just as a M&J player.
“Although at present I’m rehabilitating from a long-term injury, I am proud to be a player on the senior team having come up through the youth section from the age of 11. Receiving so much support over the years from the club, coaches and volunteers it’s an absolute pleasure to know the business is continuing to support the club. It’s vital that local businesses get involved with community groups and sporting teams which then benefit home-grown players of the future and the wider community through sport.”