FURNESS Rugby Union Club members are mounting a crusade to resurrect their once-thriving junior section.

The Strawberry Grounds outfit have been without a junior section for the best part of five years due to a lack of available coaches and volunteers.

But a concerted effort is being made to bring back the Furness Crusaders junior section this summer, with an eye to competing against other Cumbrian teams next season.

Current and former Furness players have jumped on board to try and get the Crusaders up and running again, with many attending a recent Rugby Ready coaching course led by Garry Holmes, the RFU community coach for Barrow, Eden and South Lakes.

Peter Helm is one of the Furness stalwarts involved in trying to resurrect the Crusaders, his interest prompted by the fact his son William wants to start playing the game.

“Our junior section folded about four or five years ago,” he explained.

“There were two guys doing it. They didn’t have much support and there was nobody else there to help, and then one of them changed jobs and it just kind of folded.

“I thought about kick-starting it and getting it going again because my 14-year-old lad William is dying to play.

“There are quite a few of the lads – former players, current players – that have got their own lads or relations interested in taking the sport up again, so we have decided to get it up and running.”

He added: “The rules have changed a little bit from four or five years ago so we all had to do what they call a Rugby Ready course.

“This helped us all get a basic understanding of the coaching needs and going through the safety aspects involved before you can progress to a full coaching course.

“Garry Holmes came down and we were there for a couple of hours. It was a really good session. He had us running around and doing different things and gave us some helpful tips.

“It was aimed at how you reach kids. It’s different to when you are teaching adults. You’ve got to keep them entertained and enthused and not just stood around thinking ‘what’s going on here?’

“The next step is we’ve still got a few registration things to do for the RFU but we are hoping to get it up and running this summer.”

When the foundations have been put in place, the plan is to have regular coaching sessions for 10 to 16-year-olds and possibly host a seven-a-side competition some time in the summer.

“We are looking for even more volunteers, either parents or just people interested in helping us out,” said Helm.

l Anyone who wants to get involved can email Peter at juniors@furness rugby.co.uk