A self confessed rugby tragic will sponsor the Redlands Muddies next year

REDLANDS developer AFT Projects will be the Redlands Rugby Union Club major sponsor for next year.

CLUB MOVE: Chris Anderson at the rugby club's Birkdale grounds. He will sponsor the club next year.

CLUB MOVE: Chris Anderson at the rugby club's Birkdale grounds. He will sponsor the club next year.

The sponsorship includes the 17 teams associated with the club and three additional teams planned under expansion projects and next year’s modified rugby program.

AFT owner Chris Anderson, a self-confessed rugby tragic, said that while there were many aspects to the club that he believed deserved support, one draw card was its focus on females taking part.

“In 2019, a major focus on youth girls 7’s rugby will also see AFT as the major sponsor for these teams as well,” he said.

“It also includes minor sponsorship of our women’s and men’s senior team.

“(Wife) Virginia and I are impressed with the great work this club does with and for the young people of the city and we welcome their focus...

“In the senior program, about 50 per cent are women.”

Mr Anderson said he was also keen to see the club advance its plans for wider age engagement.

“We want to work with the club as there’s a real opportunity for growth in their youth (12-18) age categories where currently they don’t have any players.”

Club spokesman Keith Taylor said growth was a major focus for next year.

“Our club legend Cheyanne Campbell played in two rugby world cups, is an ex-Wallaroo and Queensland captain and she will spearhead the coaching and development on this program along with Tiki Tuapou and the RRU committee.

“We are planning for 15 per cent growth again in 2019, primarily through the expansion of two major initiatives – (modified rugby) for kids and youth with learning and perceptual disabilities and girl’s youth 7’s program – which is designed to leverage local schools and the fun and fast concept of rugby 7’s to grow our female base.

“We hope to field at least three teams across U13’s, U15’s and U17’s age groups, one in each.”

Mr Anderson said that on any week, Redlands rugby had more than 1000 members and patrons through the club across Friday night training and Saturday and Sunday games.

“Over the past three years, the club’s membership base has grown at between 15 and 20 per cent per annum,” he said. “That’s a lot of families.”

He said sponsorship supported the club’s focus of providing affordable access to sport and would help keep fees down and help buy playing kits.