RAK Rugby Chairman To Step Down
The Chairman of RAK Rugby, Simon Williams has announced he will step down from his role and a new Chairman and several new board members will be sworn in at the upcoming AGM for the club.
“Now comes the time for me to retire. I have thoroughly enjoyed the three years in charge and will take away many wonderful memories. I’m particularly proud of what we have achieved at the club, transitioning into a proper functioning business as we needed to, both legally and commercially.”
RAK Rugby Club have been through difficult times throughout Williams tenure at the club. In particular, the death of Nick Young had been a horrific time for all members of RAK Rugby and the wider rugby community. Such is the rallying spirit within the UAE rugby community though, Nick will be honoured forever with the Nick Young Trophy. Funds continue to be raised for Nick’s wife and boys who will be having a well deserved holiday with the recent funds raised.
Other notable changes made during Williams’ time in charge have been the name change from the RAK Goats to RAK Rugby and the set up of the club up under Royal Decree from His Highness Sheikh Saud, the ruler of Ras al Khaimah and getting his endorsement was a key moment in the club’s development.
At the beginning of the 2017/18 rugby season, the club moved to playing on to a grass pitch and the changes put in place attracted new coach Craig Chapman, as well as new players. This was reflected in wins at the Dubai Sevens, Barrelhouse 10’s, the inaugural Nick Young Trophy against the Knights RFC as well as finishing 4th in the UAE Community League 2017/18. The club also managed to introduce a women’s team under Williams as Chairman.
“The season before we’d been the whipping boys of the Community League and now we’re beating teams we’ve never beaten before and achieved respect across the leagues, resulting in the Yalla Rugby Club of the year award for 2017/18.”
During the 2018/19 season, RAK Rugby continued their success with the Men’s rugby team hitting their highest league position of 3rd place and the vets team winning in the Dubai 7s. The Womens rugby team have developed further this year, winning the Cross Border Sevens Series C league tournament, several B league wins and finally cementing themselves in the A league as a force to be reckoned with for 2019/20.
Williams has highlighted some of his best memories throughout the three years as RAK Rugby Chairman:
- Playing away at Al Ain Amblers in the 2016/17 season and winning their first match with just 15 men (Williams getting the forwards Man of the Match award) and enjoying a now legendary bus journey home!
- Coaching and developing two mini/junior rugby teams and seeing the kids and parents beaming with delight at our first match against the Dubai Hurricanes
- Helping start the Women’s team and watching them play their first tournament when we only had 5 girls and they managed to win one game against 7!
- Managing our Vets in the Dubai 7s 2018/19 tournament, where we won the bowl and a bunch of us old guys were all jumping around like kids at the final whistle!
“Of course, I couldn’t have enjoyed or done any of the above without a fantastic team of committee members, sponsors and volunteers around me. It truly has been an honour and privilege to be Chairman at RAK and I look forward to watching them play as a spectator in the new season.”