A great day for the Bears & RL
A great day for the Bears and for Rugby League.
Let’s just agree to put the scoreline on one side [it was 12-62], and consider all the other things that happened at Saturdays game against Bradford Bulls, and what people are now saying about us……….
We set a new club attendance record of 1,465, more than enough to generate a great atmosphere at the Butts Park Arena, as anyone who was there will testify.
And looking at the weekend’s Rugby League attendances, only two clubs outside of Super League had a higher attendance, Toronto Wolfpack, backed by wealth and a big marketing spend, and Featherstone Rovers, backed by 116 years of history in a stronghold of the game.
In stark contrast we have seen three long established heartland clubs admit to severe financial difficulties within the past week. No such problem at the Bears who live, and now grow, within their means.
Phil Caplan, Editor/Director of RL magazine forty-20, saw a link with the England RL team’s latest game and Perpignan based side Catalans Dragons as he tweeted ’20k predominantly new fans in Denver last week, Catalans break 10,000 barrier and a new record crowd 0f 1,500 at Coventry with partners and sponsors bowled over.’ Great to be mentioned in the same sentence as those two giants and innovators of the game!!!
Gareth Walker, the Daily Mirror’s Rugby League correspondent tweeted that ‘@Coventry Bears promotion of the game has been excellent, and a positive story that needs highlighting.’
Bears supporters travelled from afar to be there, and a contingent from Telford Raiders RLFC, an amateur side thought it a ‘great day out’ and were ‘delighted to be part of a record crowd.’
Local Rugby Union blogger Tim Smith [aka Cowshed Tim] was also full of praise too, he ‘arrived at the ground as something of a neutral….but left more of a fan than I’d expected. Proud of the team’s performance and proud of the club, too.’
James Guertjens, the Bears prop forward, talked of the Cubs junior side ‘buzzing after getting a tour through the dressing sheds before the game’ while Bears fan Rachel Pressley picked up on the sporting way Bulls star Dane Chisholm demonstrated his kicking to the Coventry youngsters. That moment embodies the friendship and true sporting spirit between fans and players of different clubs
Bears CEO Alan Robinson also noted that he had heard of one of the youngsters going to bed in his Bears kit!! Fingers crossed that lad will be playing for the first team in a few years time. One newcomer thanked me by email for a great day out for her and her kids, and Alan and others at the club have had similar messages.
But one swallow doesn’t make a Summer, and there’s a great summer of Rugby League ahead, with three cracking, and this time winnable games coming up in July at the Butts Park Arena as the Bears take on;
Hemel Stags, Sunday 15th July ko 3.00
Keighley Cougars, Sunday 22nd July ko 3.00
West Wales Raiders, Wednesday 25th July ko 7.45
So, let’s all keep this momentum going and cheer the lads on again!