Part of our tradition is to honour excellence and to acknowledge those who have delivered an exceptional contribution to the development of BSN Rugby Club.
Congratulations to Matt Roper, our first elected Honorary President for his extraordinary service to the club. He has set an excellent example for others to follow.
Matt joined the BSN Rugby Club in the 2007/8 season with his son Tom and was quickly pulled in to help coach the Benjis. As one of only a very small number of RFU/IRB Level 3 qualified coaches in The Netherlands, it wasn’t long before Matt was invited to join the BSN Committee to establish a new role as the club’s Coaching Coordinator.
In this capacity, Matt served the club from 2008 to 2014 where he was responsible for the management, coordination and guidance of some 35 coaches, supporting over 120+ players from age 5 to 18. Over the years, Matt also filled the roles of Head Coach for the Benjis, Minis, Cubs and Juniors – winning back-to-back Dutch National Championship titles with each age group.
In April 2010, Matt organised the club’s first major tour to the UK for the Minis – forming lasting ties with the Leicester Tigers Community & Academy Coaching team. As a direct result of this tour, in October 2010 Matt established the highly successful Leicester Tigers Coaching Course, which now runs in The Netherlands every year.
As a Coach Educator, over the years Matt also organised many IRB training courses and was instrumental in more than 90 BSN coaches and older players receiving their Level 1 coaching and/or referee’s awards.
A key element of Matt’s BSN Rugby Club legacy was the development of a series of foundation documents that now help underpin many of the club’s activities; in particular, the club’s Coaches Code of Conduct, Coaching Philosophy, Coaching Handbook, Team Selection Guidelines and the club’s Child Protection and Welfare Policy were all produced by Matt.
For the past 3 years, Matt has become increasingly involved in coaching within the NRB’s national elite youth rugby programmes and has supported the national RTC programmes, the national U16, U17 and 18 squads. For 2014/15 season, Matt takes on the role as Head Coach for the Dutch national U18’s.
Matt was made the first Honorary President of the BSN Rugby Club in July 2014.