Dorset & Wilts Rugby

Elected Officers

Here you can find information on the Officers of Dorset&Wilts

April 2015  Ron Jones has been re-elected RFU Representative for Dorset&Wilts

for 2015/16.

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PRESIDENT: JOHN CONSTABLE (Swanage & Wareham) (2007/08)

Tel: 01929 551468 (H) Mobile: 07970 500357
Grand View, Puddletown Road, Worgret, Wareham Dorset BH20 6AD
Email: j.constable@swansrugby.freeserve.co.uk

Head of the Union and one of its principal spokesmen.
Chairs or presides at all general meetings of the Union and at all Council meetings.
Member of the Management Committee.
Represents the Union at all games, competition finals and various meetings and events.
Visits clubs in membership on match days during the season.
Acts as an ambassador for the Union.

DEPUTY PRESIDENT:

Tel: Email:
Takes the place of President if he/she is unable to attend any meeting or event.
Assists President with meetings and decisions.
Member of Management Committee.

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HONORARY GENERAL SECRETARY: NICK DARK (Devizes) (2005/06)

Tel:
01380 721429 (H) 01380 726913 (W)
18 Killbrock Mead, Willowbrook, Devizes, Wilts., SN10 2FU
Email: cb-honsec-dorset-wilts@therfu.com

Principal administration officer of the Union and the main link between Union, and its clubs, the RFU and all outside agencies.
Coordinates all the Union’s activities.

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HONORARY TREASURER: JOHN PALMER (Dorchester) (1986/87)

Tel: 01305 262929 (H)
45 Ackerman Road, Dorchester DT1 1NZ
Email: jrpalmer@btinternet.com
Prepares and sets budgets and controls costs of Union
Agrees budgets with budget holders.
Maintains proper records and accounts and administers the financial affairs of the Union.
Prepares income and expenditure accounts and cash flow forecasts.
Provides the RFU with any financial information of the Union it may require.

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IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT: CLIVE DRAKE (North Dorset) (2009/11)

Tel: 01747 825856 (H) Mobile: 07967 808515
Folly’s End, Wyke Street, Gillingham, Dorset SP8 4NA
Email : tcldrake@follys.freeserve.co.uk


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CHAIR OF GOVERNANCE: ARTHUR BOWDEN (Salisbury) (1966-67)

Tel:
01722 322388 (H)
40 Hulse Road, Salisbury SP1 3LY
Email : arthur.bowden@btinternet.com com

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CHAIRMAN CLUB DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE: ALAN OTTAWAY (Christchurch BC)

Tel:
01202 425074 (H) 01202 495068 (W)
Christchurch Borough Council, Bridge St, Christchurch, Dorset BH23 1AZ
Email: a.ottaway@christchurchandeastdorset.gov.uk

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RFU COUNCIL MEMBER: RON JONES (Westbury) (1997/98)

Tel: 01225 766647 (H)
36 Westbury Road, Yarnbrook, Trowbridge, Wiltshire BA14 6AO
Email: jrugbymaster@aol.com

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CHAIRMAN RUGBY DEVELOPMENT PARTNERSHIP: GEORGE McELROY

Tel: 07876 204487
43 Hengistbury Road Southbourne Bournemouth BH6 4DQ
Email: gem@gemec.org

Management of the integrated player development and playing programmes.

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MANAGEMENT BOARD MEMBER AND PAST PRESIDENT OF THE RFU: WILLIE WILDASH ​(Weymouth) (1973/74)

Email:
Email: WWildash@aol.com

Willie Wildash became President of the Rugby Football Union in the summer of 2011, having been on the RFU Council as the member for Dorset and Wilts since 1991.
Having begun playing rugby as a hooker at Worthing High School, Willie played for Old Azurians and Sussex Schools. He joined Weymouth RFC in 1961 when he began his career as a research scientist in at the Admiralty Underwater Weapons Establishment on Portland, Dorset. He moved into the back row when playing for Salford University and Burnage in the early 60s and also played for Dorset, RN Portland and for HMS Penelope in places like Toulon and Gibraltar in the early 70s.. (continued in the bibliography)

Biography

Past President Willie Wildash

Photo: RFU Archive
Willie Wildash became President of the Rugby Football Union in the summer of 2011, having been on the RFU Council as the member for Dorset and Wilts since 1991.

Having begun playing rugby as a hooker at Worthing High School, Willie played for Old Azurians and Sussex Schools. He joined Weymouth RFC in 1961 when he began his career as a research scientist in at the Admiralty Underwater Weapons Establishment on Portland, Dorset. He moved into the back row when playing for Salford University and Burnage in the early 60s and also played for Dorset, RN Portland and for HMS Penelope in places like Toulon and Gibraltar in the early 70s.

At the age of 32, after a severe knee injury, Willie was forced to stop playing and joined the Dorset & Wilts Referee Society eventually spending 4 seasons on the old A4 national panel in the 1980s.  In 1973 he was elected onto Dorset & Wilts RFU.

Willie is an Honorary Life Member of Weymouth RFC.  He was twice Chairman, firstly in the 1980s when the club moved to a new ground and built its first club house and secondly in the early 1990s. He also served many years as Treasurer and Team Secretary and was the club's Mini & Youth Chairman in the late 1990s.  He is an Honorary Life Vice President of Dorset & Wilts RFU and was  President 1987-9, since then he has been Chairman of its YDO Management Group and served as CB Facilities and Volunteer Coordinators. In 1989 he received a Dorset Playing Fields Award for outstanding contribution to sport in Dorset in the field of rugby.

He has produced Strategic Plans, Action Plans and Facilities Plans for his CB and was the author of the ‘Taking the Lead’ a Dorset & Wilts guide for clubs on best practice, published in 2000 and reprinted twice by the RFU.

His club and county roles saw him take on responsibilities at South West Division level, as Divisional Chairman and as a member of the South West Competitions Committee for almost a decade.
He is currently a member of the Community Game Board and chairs its Club & CB Services & Funding Committee, and sits on the iRugby and the RugbyFirst Project Boards and Safeguarding Group.  He chaired the RFU’s 3rd Strategic Plan Council TG and provided background information on the development of CBs since 2001 for the RFU Constitutional Review Task Group.
At governing body level Willie has served over the years on numerous committees, sub committees and task groups, including: Forward Planning, Competitions, County Championship, IT Steering Group. He chaired the CB Strengthening & Model Office TG, Continuum Review Group, E day TG as well as being a Chairman and a member of Special Disciplinary Panels for over 5 years.
In his professional life Willie was Principal Scientist for the MOD Defence Research and Defence & Evaluation Agencies, was involved in project & technical management of sonar programmes in the UK and USA, and directed sea trials in the North Atlantic and Mediterranean. When he retired he was a Resource Manager responsible for the change management, development and deployment of more than 50 scientists and engineers.

In 2003/4 Willie was Master of the Worshipful Company of Pewterers, a City of London Livery company, and from 2004/07 was Chairman of Pewter Live, an annual national design competition promoting pewter and bringing new products to the marketplace. In his professional and rugby life Willie has been greatly supported by his wife Mary and they have a daughter Nicole.

Presidents Speech & RFU AGM 2011

Ladies & Gentlemen, thank you for the great honour that you have given not only me, but the twin counties of Dorset & Wiltshire and their clubs, by electing me as President of your Union. I will do my utmost to prove worthy of your trust. To represent The Rugby Union at the highest level when our sport has been such a huge part of my life, is indeed a privilege.

It is also my privilege to thank Richard Appleby and to express our appreciation for all he has done for the Union during the past year. Against a background of significant changes, not all planned, Richard has occupied the office of President with dignity and composure and, as our ambassador, has made us many new friends. Richard you were very unlucky not have enjoyed a Grand Slam. Thank you Richard and thank you Margaret for all the support you have given him. My wife Mary and I are grateful for your guidance and friendship, during my Vice-Presidency.

My own rugby journey started at the Worthing High School for Boys in West Sussex. Next came its old boys team, Old Azurians, when I travelled to matches in the back of my captain's greengrocer's van. In June 1961 I moved with my family along the coast and joined the Weymouth club. Soon several student winters in Manchester, starting with the Big Freeze of 1963 exposed me to rugby up north and changed my life - for the better. Returning to play for Weymouth I also became an active volunteer, before a knee injury in 1973 ended my playing days and I joined the Dorset & Wilts Referees Society. I was also elected to the Dorset & Wilts Rugby Football Union. I gained a vast amount of invaluable experience during a period of time when the game was expanding rapidly on and off the field, and had the good fortune to be mentored by some very capable county administrators.

Looking back on this journey I must thank all these rugby organisations for the fun and enjoyment I had as a player, and for the opportunities they provided me as a volunteer official to learn new skills, improve my self esteem and confidence. I am proud to have team mates who are still my friends, half a century after we first picked up a rugby ball together. I should particularly like to thank my many friends from the Weymouth Club, the Dorset & Wilts Rugby Football Union and member clubs who, over my 38 years as a county rugby administrator have always given me their full support. Rugby also provided me with a great work-life-balance to my career as a Research Scientist in the MOD. Finally, I must thank my wife Mary - without her unstinting support and love of the game I certainly would not be here today.

A lifelong passion for rugby means I am very firm in my commitment to uphold the values of the game and the office of President, to the best of my ability. It falls to me to promote and represent the Union's role, reputation and interests, and I know that I will have the full support of Council, and particularly that of my two Vice-Presidents, Paul Murphy and Bob Reeves. I should like to be the first to congratulate them on their election today.

I am very excited about the future of our game and I want to stress that we have much to look forward to in this very special Rugby World Cup year.

The England Team, recently crowned Six Nations Champions, is currently preparing for the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand with a squad of players rapidly growing in wisdom and stature. I am sure you’ll join me in sending best wishes to the players, Martin Johnson and his Management Team. Our committed volunteers and staff will work together to ensure, that we make the most of the opportunities presented before, during and uniquely after this year's tournament when we become the hosts of Rugby World Cup 2015. This presents us all with a once in a lifetime opportunity to significantly grow and develop the game at all levels from the Premiership to grass roots, and to create a lasting legacy.

The key to creating this legacy is to offer high Quality Experiences to players, coaches, referees, volunteers, supporters and sponsors. The Council approved business plan for the coming year will ensure that the shape of our organisation is simpler and that it will have a far greater rugby focus. For example, by refocusing our rugby development team we are ensuring that the needs of Clubs, Schools, Colleges and Universities will met far more effectively in the future.

By actively promoting all formats of the game, we will offer touch and tag rugby to people of all ages. As proof, next Saturday I will be participating in my club's Annual Tag Rugby Festival on Weymouth Beach. As we have heard earlier this summer's O2 Touch programme, under the Choose Rugby banner, will give even more people the opportunity to experience the fun and great social interaction that our game offers.

England’s Women who won their sixth successive Grand Slam in March have inspired a steadily increasing number of girls and women. Many of whom are now playing regularly in our clubs and that can only bode well for the next Women's World Cup in Paris in 2014.
I want to emphasise that the game is in good hands. The RFU Council takes its responsibilities very seriously. As we saw this morning it will continue to operate, on behalf of the game it represents, the checks and balances needed to ensure that the affairs of the Union are properly governed by the Board of Directors. In turn the Board will gain from the appointment of an Independent Non-Executive Director.

Our Constituent Bodies continue have a key role to play. Through the new planning, funding and reporting process they are empowered to plan the growth of the game and meet different local and regional needs. We have worked very hard to create a true partnership between our staff and our volunteers.
Last, but not least, we have the most fantastic staff. Having worked closely with many of them for a number of years I can vouchsafe for their professionalism, expertise and dedication. I should very much like this meeting to acknowledge the enormous contribution they have made, particularly during recent events. So please join with me and give all our staff a standing ovation.

I am only the second Dorset & Wiltshire representative to become President, the first was Douggie Harrison in 1966. A lovely man who left a huge legacy to the game and I feel very humble following in his footsteps. Exactly 45 years ago Douggie said at this AGM:
"I believe with all my heart that, if those who administer and those who play the game are true to its traditions, it will remain, as always, a bond of fellowship, a spirit of adventure, and perhaps, above all a symbol of sanity in a somewhat distracted and materialistic world."

To me these words still ring true today
Therefore, my theme for the coming season is simple:

Choose Rugby, have fun and make friends for life.
Thank you, for electing me as President of this great Union.


President's Speech RFU AGM July 2011.

Presidents Speech & RFU AGM 2012

It has certainly been a very interesting year for an RFU President and one that presented many challenges! The first was the Council meeting that I had to chair, at very short notice, immediately before last year’s AGM. However, personally I have always welcomed challenges, particularly those to the status quo, as they inevitably provide a marvelous opportunity to move forward.

As the greatest rugby football union in the world, we must never stand still lest we be overtaken by global events, or one of the games’s sleeping giants. We must ensure that we remain one of the best, if not the best, sport's governing body.
The international rugby landscape is beginning to change as more nations seek to have a greater say in how our sport should be governed and run internationally. We must whole heartedly embrace this change because we have a responsibility to help develop the global game - and more nations playing at a higher level can only benefit us all.

Recently, reading a book by an RFU President of the early 1980s, I realised how much things have altered. In these modern times, my prime responsibility as President has been to promote and represent the Union’s role, reputation and interests. In contrast to the executive led by the CEO, my duties are now largely ceremonial and ambassadorial. I do, however, represent the whole game and the non executive Chairman of the Board of Directors reports to me and works under my authority.

After last year’s AGM, our Chairman Paul Murphy and I worked very closely together. Clearly, we could not do anything that would undermine Council decisions. In order to move forward and begin to rebuild parts of the RFU’s damaged reputation, we had to be extraordinarily patient if we were going to resolve some of the issues and make real progress. It certainly was a challenging time but, most of all, it was a painful time, particularly for all who love the game and whose experience of it has been vastly different to the picture painted.

The challenges provided us with a great opportunity to reflect on how we govern the game and to take real progressive action. One important lesson I learnt was that changing people’s perceptions takes a great deal of time and perseverance. I also found I needed to be ruled by my head rather than wear the heart on my sleeve.

Off the field, we now have an executive empowered by the Board through the CEO to take decisions and manage the affairs of the union in accordance with the Strategic Plan which will continue to be endorsed by Council.
Due to the sheer scale and size of our business it is inevitable that we have become an increasingly executive-led organisation and one which is open, transparent and accountable. However we must remember that empowerment does require robust processes to be in place to ensure accountability. We must also have processes in place to ensure that our executive staff continue to work in partnership with volunteers from our clubs and Constituent Bodies using a common framework like the new Planning, Funding & Reporting Process now used by CBs and Regional Development Teams to plan development and increase participation.

As President I attended a grand total of 19 England games as well England U20s, U18s games and I supported our Men’s & Women’s 7s teams. Thanks to Head Coach Stuart Lancaster the England team now possesses the spirit and strength of character to win games which augers well for the future and this enabled them to win, for the very first time, three Six Nations games away from home.

The commitment, dedication and passion from the England team on the field, together with the core values that we all support, has removed the perceived gap between the players, their supporters and the game’s sponsors. The use of social media tools, platforms and networks to communicate and obtain feedback are also helping to rapidly close this gap at all levels of the game.

To win an international cap is something that very few players accomplish and I had the honour of presenting full international caps to 12 players, which may be something of a record. The last I presented, to Tom Waldrom against South Africa, was the 1,345th cap, since John Edmund Bentley was awarded the very first against Scotland in 1871. I also had the privilege of awarding a very special cap in South Africa to commemorate Toby Flood’s 50th international.

I am also particularly proud to have been the first RFU President to present an England Women’s player with a cap commemorating, in Paris, Michaela Staniford’s 50th game for her country after both England team victories against France. Last Monday marked the completion of the integration of the RFUW with the RFU. A lot of water has flowed under the bridge since the early 1990s when I refereed the first Dorset & Wilts club women’s game and my club Weymouth became one of the first to host a women’s team.

It is clear to me, as the Head of the Rugby Union Football in England, that all the changes over the past year, on and off the field, have made this great union stronger than ever. This augers extraordinarily well for the future, against a background of rapid growth of global participation in new markets, as we look forward to hosting the 2015 RWC, whilst at the same recognising the huge responsibility that comes with stewardship of the games most significant global event.

When I look back over my year it is the wonderful people, together with their kindness and hospitality, that I have met, at Clubs, Schools, Constituent Bodies and even Prisons, that provide the enduring memories.

It confirms that we have something more than just the playing of a game – it is a way of life. This was particularly emphasised for me by the contacts and friendships that we developed not only with the home unions but also with those around the world. We are indeed a global rugby family.
My wife Mary has been unstinting in her support as have my two Vice Presidents, Paul Murphy and Bob Reeves and, of course, Council members.

Council Services staff provided an extraordinary amount of personal support and those from Communications & Legal Services always ensured that I was properly briefed. Indeed, I shall never forget all the staff at Twickenham. The support they have given to me and to the game through their professionalism, expertise and dedication during the past 12 months has been simply outstanding.

I want to finish by thanking the game for giving me its support and consequently the confidence and self esteem needed to perform my Presidential duties. My theme throughout my year has been 'Choose Rugby, Have Fun, Make Friends for Life.' This is to me what our great game is all about - at whatever level it is played - grass roots through to the premiership.

In this Olympic year that is the torch that we all carry which signifies the spirit and values of our great game. I am very happy to pass it on to the next President.

Willie Wildash


President's Speech RFU AGM July 2012