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javeamigos.com | XABIA RUGBY CLUB"Come on a journey with us, you won't be disappointed!" That was the message from Xbia Rugby Club as it presented its vision for the future in front of an eager audience keen to see rugby survive in the town. The controversial demise of the Javea Bulls had threatened to end a short-lived tenure of the game in Jvea but a group led by Nigel Fitzpatrick has vowed to keep it alive with the launch of Xbia Rugby Club. In a special presentation at the An Shebeen Irish Tavern, club president Fitzpatrick said that it was his dream to have a successful club in the town and stressed that "we're serious; we want this to work" adding that he and his committee were determined to rebuild the club.

Around 30-40 people heard that the demise of Javea Bulls had left a vacuum that needed to be filled and that the Xbia Rugby Club was essentially a complete re-launch of rugby in Jvea, boasting a new name, a new committee and a new direction. Fitzpatrick stressed that the club needed a proper, accountable structure to make it work and he believed that his new committee had the drive and ambition to do so. "This will be a proper, well-run club," he stressed. But he added that the new club would only succeed with the support from an enthusiastic membership - the "lifeline of the club" - and that they would be working hard to raise the club's profile around town.

But re-building a rugby club from scratch required more than just enthusiastic support. The club desperately needs funds, not only to kit out the new side with a uniform (red-and-white hoops seemed to be the favourite) but to also finance essential services at the rugby ground, located just behind the municipal football ground to the south of the old town. A sprinkler system has been installed but the club needs a pump to get the facility working, machinery that is likely to set them back some 2,000. They are also looking for a part-time groundsman to keep the pitch in good condition and Fitzpatrick said that if they could not encourage a volunteer then they would have to find the cash to employ one. And he confirmed that any decent rugby club needs a clubhouse, and at the present time, after the fire that destroyed the small wooden casita last year, the club didn't have a headquarters but had ambitions to raise enough money to build a modest structure in the near future.

He outlined a number of sponsorship opportunities that he hoped would attract corporate support to Xbia Rugby Club and allow his team to develop rugby in Jvea. A major sponsor is being sought (4,000 a year or 6,000 for a two-year deal) along with a number other kit opportunities ranging from 1,500 to 1,000 plus other deals such as post protectors and matchball sponsorship. But individuals can also help by becoming members of the club at just 40,00 for the year. And the club will be holding a number of events in the next few months, including a race night at the An Shebeen on Saturday May 21st as well as a summer family BBQ at the rugby ground and the popular Beach 7's on the Arenal.

A successful sports club also needs to develop young talent and Andreu Bartomeu outlined plans for a a rugby school, working in conjunction with the town council and local federation to set up an academy that would discover and nurture local young talent that would be the life-blood of the club. Once again, funds were being sought to ensure that the club could offer low fees and make the school available to all.

Fitzpatrick concluded by confirmed that he and his team was serious and that they wanted Xbia Rugby Club to succeed. "I strongly believe that we can make this work," he said. "Come on the journey with us, you won't be disappointed."

For more information, see Facebook page "Xbia Rugby Club"

Saturday 16th April 2011

Report by Mike Smith