As the Rugby World Cup pool stage drew to an enthralling climax, The Rugby Players’ Association (RPA) were invited to join over 50 former players at the recent Newcastle Falcons’ Legends game to present an informative RPA Alumni Forum.
Held at the home of Falcons’ Rugby, Kingston Park, and hosted the night before the Pool B encounter between Scotland and South Africa at St James’ Park, the evening invited former players to interact, build relationships and better understand the opportunities available to them through the RPA.
The forum took place on the same night as the hugely successful Falcons’ Legends match and saw RPA Alumni members such as Jamie Noon, Dan Scarbrough, Andy Buist and Ben Woods in attendance.
With Alumni membership being an important aspect of the RPA’s role, attendees were given an in depth presentation by RPA Alumni Personal Development Managers (PDMs), Mandy Thompson (Alumni North) and Caroline Guthrie (Alumni South), on the support and services accessible to them.
Speaking after the event, RPA Alumni member and former Falcons’ forward, Andy Buist, spoke about the importance of developing a strong link between former players and the RPA.
The 31-year-old who returned to Falcons’ this year as the club’s 2015 Rugby World Cup Events Officer, played a crucial role in organising the event.
“After speaking to Mandy earlier this year it was a no brainer to host both events on the same night and maximize the potential for the Alumni membership to get together, socialise and create long lasting relationships.
“The 50 plus former players who attended the evening were presented with a clear and precise message on the work the RPA do and how we can all benefit from their tremendous support.
“I for one found the whole experience extremely beneficial, it was fantastic to better understand how I can take full advantage of my RPA Alumni membership and also provided a terrific opportunity to network with a range of local businesses and catch up with some old mates.”
Mandy Thompson, PDM for Alumni North and Newcastle Falcons, said:
“It was a fabulous evening and we’re extremely grateful to Andy Buist and the team at Falcons’ Rugby for presenting such a perfect opportunity for Caroline and I to engage with our RPA Alumni members in a social setting and update everyone on what we offer as an Association.
“The feedback we’ve received since the evening has been outstanding, with a real sense of the rugby ‘family’ coming together. Our aim is to build an incredibly strong base of RPA Alumni who understand how important it is to support each other and also provide help to current players when needed.”
If you’re a former player who was an RPA member and would like to sign up as an RPA Alumni member please contact Mandy Thompson (North) on mthompson@theRPA.co.uk or 07889 601 709 or Caroline Guthrie (South) on cguthrie@theRPA.co.uk or 07590 890 812. Alternatively please click here: http://therpa.co.uk/player-services/register-as-a-past-player/