‘24/7 Valencia’ sat down with President of Valencia Rugby Club, Eduardo Gonzalez, to find out how the club is performing in the rugby league and what makes this sport so special. The Valencia Rugby Club holds five fundamental values in high regard: ‘discipline, respect, integrity, passion, and solidarity’. These values, widely acknowledged and embraced in the realm of rugby, are clearly evident within the club. Since the club’s inception in 1966, it has participated in various rugby categories and numerous international tournaments, excelling in each of them and establishing itself as the most accomplished Rugby Club in the Valencian Community. The club also teaches children from the age of 6 the spirit and philosophy of the sport. It extends its reach to schools and collaborates with Municipal Sports Schools, acting as a catalyst in nurturing future members for competitive teams. Upon visiting the grounds, it was clear to see the energy, passion and enjoyment exuding from every player, trainee, parent and coach. Here is what Eduardo Gonzalez, President of the club, had to say:
24/7 Valencia: What type of rugby does the club play and how many teams do you have?
Eduardo Gonzalez: The official rugby we play is with fifteen players. At the end of the season, we play rugby sevens, which we are now training for in preparation. In terms of the number of teams, Valencia as a whole has around 8 teams. Our club specifically has 12 teams which include all the categories. Sub 6, Sub 8, Sub 10, Sub 12, Sub 14, Sub 16, Sub 18, Senior Feminino, Senior Verde, Senior Blanco, Inclusivo, and Veterans. The teams go from children to seniors, for both women and men.
When did the club start?
It started in 1966. In three years’ time, the club will be 60 years old!
How many games does the club play?
During the league season, we play four per month at senior level. Outside of the league, all the categories play games on the weekends. We can have between 12-14 games on average every weekend.
How many spectators do you have on average and how much is a ticket?
We can have up to 2500 – 3000 per match, but it depends on the game. For entry, it’s completely free. Some clubs in Spain charge for tickets, but we made the choice as a club not to charge anything. Because of the B league that we’re in now, we don’t feel we should charge for entrance. If we move up a league, we’ll consider charging, but for now, it’s free.
How is the club doing in the current league?
We’re champions in two categories within the Comunidad de Valenciana. This year, the teams Sub 14 and Sub 18 are champions and Sub 16 is in second place. At the moment, our club is 6th in the under 18’s category in the entirety of Spain. In the national under 16s category, we’re 4th. The senior team came 4th in the qualifiers and came first in the second stage. Now the club is doing really well in all categories, so we are very happy.
How does rugby compare to other sports in Valencia?
Rugby can’t compete with football. Basketball also cannot be directly compared, but not because it’s more popular, it’s just different. It’s complicated to compare against other sports. Compared with other sports in Spain, rugby is becoming more and more popular. It has a good following at the moment, but it’s growing in popularity each day. It is true that TV drives popularity, which is a reason why football is untouchable, though rugby is slowly gaining more followers and traction. More children are signing up to play from a young age. In terms of the pitches, rugby pitches are more difficult to tend compared to other sports and need the right conditions for playing. Overall, the club is growing in popularity but is still a minority as a sport.
What would you say to encourage more people to play rugby?
Rugby is a team sport, and you can play outside in the fresh air. Individuality during play doesn’t prevail here as you must work together as a team. Rugby also keeps strong values. It’s a great way for children to form strong friendships, socialise and spend time with friends. And it allows children to spend time playing a sport that is important for life development and allows them to be active. As well as developing friendship, it allows children to develop modesty, values and kindness. Above all, it’s a fun sport and is very rewarding.
When do the teams train?
We train Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. There is also a Turia Women’s social team, which was awarded the best sports club in 2021 by the Plaza Deportiva newspaper. You can find the training times on the website.
Report by Emily Bray
Article copyright ‘24/7 Valencia’
Photo copyright Emily Bray/ ’24/7 Valencia’
Valencia Rugby Club
C/ Peaña 19, bloque 4, puerta 8
Tel: 629 653 993
Turia Women’s Rugby: https://www.tatamirugbyclub.com/turia-mejor-club-2021/