It is set to be a big year for the Hastings Conquerors. The club is about to enter the national league and is looking for new players and shareholders to join their ranks.
The Conquerors are running a number of ‘rookie days’ in January, to give prospective players a taste of American football (gridiron). The first session in Eastbourne on Sunday 11 January proved popular, with 51 participants including 18 rookies. Potential recruits enjoyed playing alongside established team members and got a feel for the atmosphere of the club.
“Rookie days are a way of getting new people involved in the sport,” said Luke Boorer, the club’s Commercial and Community Manager. “For someone who’s never followed the sport, or only started recently, it can be nerve wracking to come along to an established team. Rookie days are run by our trained coaches to give newcomers the chance to play in different positions and to get a taste of the training, the drill and the pace which all the squad are expected to go through.”
Its not just on the pitch that the club is looking for new members. “We need people to help on the sidelines on the chain crew, coaching assistants, camera operators, statisticians and so on,” said Mr Boorer. “Without these people, teams wouldn't be able to run. We are also on the lookout for new shareholders.”
The Conquerors is a fan-owned, co-operative club, which means all supporters can purchase shares. Each shareholder owns one share and thus has one vote when it comes to decision making time. “It's our shareholders who make us the fantastic club that we are,” said Mr Boorer. “They are a great bunch of people who really are keen to see the club grow and flourish. We have shareholders from the UK to Norway and Hong Kong too, which just shows you don't have to be a local to get involved!”
A share costs £30 initially, but the club recently made the decision to drop annual renewal costs to £10. The club hopes this will encourage more fans to continue their membership. Shareholder Liaison Officer, Clive Raines, said, “The club wants to keep its supporters engaged for years to come and build on its current strong standing.”
For more information about playing with the club, email firstname.lastname@example.org. To find out more about shares contact email@example.com.