Rugby in England is set for an exciting time, from developments in its governance through to the expansion of the professional and community game. That combined with the impact of Rugby World Cup 2015 and its legacy in this country in particular, suggests that London Irish is well placed to be in the vanguard of club rugby on and off the pitch for years to come.
London Irish – An Overview
London Irish ranks among the oldest rugby clubs in England. Founded in 1898 by a group of eminent Irishmen based in the capital, over the past 117 years the club has provided a “home from home” not just for Irish men and women but also for emigrants from many countries united in their passion for the game of rugby.
The club is known throughout the rugby community worldwide for the warmth of its welcome and the hospitality that it generously dispenses to friend and foe from far and near.
When the game went professional in this country in 1996, London Irish was a founder member of Premiership Rugby and has retained its status in the top tier of the game ever since.
London Irish is the only professional club to maintain a successful amateur section which currently plays in National League 3 South as London Irish Wild Geese. There is also a thriving mini rugby section.
After an itinerant existence in its early years, London Irish settled in Sunbury-on-Thames in 1931 when it bought a property on The Avenue that served as the club’s base until 2014 when it moved just under a mile to a purpose built, state-of-the-art training and administration complex at Hazelwood.
In December 2013 the ownership of the Club was taken on by a consortium of leading London Irish business people led by Mick Crossan, Chairman of Powerday plc.
An Exciting New Journey for the Club
Over the past 18 months the new owners have undertaken in-depth reviews of the club’s rugby and commercial operations. A rugby strategy that will enable the club to compete consistently in the Premiership and in Europe is now in place and being implemented.
A similar strategy for the club’s commercial activities and operations is in hand including a refreshed Community Department. The Department has a fundamental role in developing the profile of rugby and the London Irish brand in the Club’s catchment area in the process creating opportunities for all members of the community to participate in sport with consequent benefits to health, education and social inclusion.
Job Title: Head of Community
Company: London Irish RFC
Reporting to: Chief Executive
Responsible for: Community Department
Role Purpose: To manage and develop the Club’s Community Department in the process ensuring the highest standards of best practice in coaching and programme delivery.
- Manage the community team and support them to meet and exceed targets;
- Manage and develop relationships with clubs, schools and other community partners;
- Manage and develop the team of casual and voluntary staff employed on match days, schools coaching and camp delivery;
- Liaise with Premiership Rugby and other governing body agencies to ensure delivery of national community rugby programmes and fulfil all sponsor and funding agreements;
- Liaise with Local Authority Sports Development, Education and Leisure Departments to cement and exploit partnerships and opportunities locally;
- Secure funding streams (grants and CSR funds) through government, foundation, charity and business organisations to increase income for Club programmes;
- Work with other Club departments to maximise opportunities for sponsorship, sales, marketing and PR through community led activities;
- Develop the profile of the community programme in association with the Marketing and Communications Department;
- Control the Community marketing budget in association with Finance and Marketing and Communications Departments and ensure that sales targets are achieved;
- Develop relevant, new business opportunities within both the rugby and commercial sectors.
Skills and Knowledge
- Experience of managing multiple-funded programmes and completing complex monitoring and evaluation reports;
- Outstanding organisation and influencing skills;
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills;
- Experience of managing staff and budgets;
- Proven record of delivering projects;
- A track record of fundraising from multiple sources;
- Understanding of operational management, health and safety and child protection issues in sport;
- Passionate about rugby and rugby coaching with an understanding of the RFU’s commitment to and guidance about community rugby;
- Leads by example and works collaboratively to grow and nurture direct reports and team;
- Stamina and flexibility to cope with unsociable hours.
- Good IT skills and be competent in the use of Microsoft Office applications - Word, Excel and PowerPoint in particular.
- Strategic thinker with vision to anticipate opportunities;
- Customer focus;
- Strong analytical and decision-making skills;
- Financially literate;
- Skilled management of the expectations of multiple stakeholders;
- Project and programme management;
- Personal accountability, combined with a commitment to innovate and change;
- Energetic and driven to achieve results;
- Compelling communication and influencing skills;
- Commercial acumen;
- Well respected and experienced leader;
- Present a highly professional image when representing the Club.
- Personally champions the club’s values in all interactions with others;
- Customer Focus - Commits to meeting the expectations and requirements of internal and external customers; acts with customers in mind; values importance of providing high-quality customer service.
- Planning and organising – Organises and schedules events, activities and resources. Monitors timescales and plans.
- Interpersonal sensitivity - Interacts with others in a sensitive and effective way. Respects and works well with others.
- Quality orientation - Shows awareness of goals and standards. Follows through to ensure that quality and productivity standards are met.
- Initiative Taking - Takes action to achieve goals beyond what is expected; drives to bring issues to a successful closure; self-starter.
Please note that this role will require frequent weekend, evening or unsociable hours of work during the rugby season due to the match-driven nature of professional rugby.
London Irish is an equal opportunities employer and positively encourages applications from suitably qualified and eligible candidates regardless of sex, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, religion or belief, marital status, or pregnancy and maternity.
Only applicants to be invited for interview will be contacted.
To apply, please send your CV and a covering letter to [email protected] to arrive not later than
20th September 2015.