Marketing & Communications Chair
Gina Overton – Head of Communication & Media
Joint Chair Diversity & Inclusion
Contact number: 07774765773
What is your rugby background?
I have always loved the game from a very young age and with all the family playing and being constantly at the rugby club across the week, I decided the best way forward wasn’t only to get involved running the tuck shop for sweets on a Sunday morning and working the bar but to join the committee and see what I could do to assist the development of the club and in particular the marketing and communication areas.
I delivered for the club many events and marketing initiatives to improve and drive new membership across the club, where senior players, mini & juniors’ parents & players and latterly the creation and support of women’s and girl’s rugby teams.
The events were a highlight as seen below whether it was a 40th/ 50th anniversary dinners or smaller club events with speakers & comedians alike, they were always well subscribed and enjoyed by all.
In order to bring substantial money into the club my partner and I developed what started out as a small music festival with a couple of bands into a full weekend music festival with bands like The feeling and Scouting for girls headliners and over the 7 years we ran it we managed to deliver a major music event in the community calendar with people still asking now if we are doing Rugfest on an annual basis. This bought substantial sums of sponsorship and support to the club combining the rugby family and the amazing things we can do together and the community has meant firm links and support as well as the essential sponsorship opportunities it sought to bring.
How did you get involved in the county?
I became involved through the leadership academy having completed it myself I meet many of the county’s clubs having enjoyed the sharing opportunities it represented and as such realised how communication was essential to learn from each other I helped Oxfordshire RFU over 6 years ago with events around the world cup in 2015 and latterly joining the board around 4 years ago as Head of Media and communications. I have managed to launch several initiatives and improved communications between rugby clubs and the Constituent body through social media, events and the volunteer recognition program.
I am also an active mentor and support for the Leadership academy and support this enormously powerful opportunity given to share, learn and support each other with the last one due to COVID being the women’s leadership academy where I coached and mentored 3 keen coaches for the women’s and girls game across the county and beyond.
What are your rugby highlights?
For me this has probably got to be the volunteer recognition program and events I have created and bought to the community game, whether it is to celebrate the great work and commitment in every rugby club across the season by wonderful volunteers or understanding the driving of events like Rugfest music festival bringing people to the club to see what we have to offer and the creation of firm community links and support.
I also take great pride in the support and being part of many years with the colts section at the club offering as they would call it being “chief nurse maid”, “mother” when on tour and anything else they could think of!. Supporting them through the transition from juniors to adult rugby and the development and understanding that rugby isn’t just a game its far more ! – the development of a team spirit, the offering of support to each other and overall the fun and enjoyment whether on the field or post the match.
What do you want to achieve in your time on the board?
I want to develop the D&I agenda for our clubs and bring support and clarity over how to further ensure we bring equality and the continued enjoyment of the game of rugby to more and more people.
In terms of communications I want to strive to ensure clubs can use our social media support to build their own social spaces and ensure the continuation of strong links and communication from the constituent body as I believe the more we understand and work together the more we will bring to the wonderful community game which is what started for me the true understanding and enjoyment of rugby.
How could I get involved?
I am always looking for subcommittee members for the County’s Exec board, whether its within the Diversity & inclusion areas or the Communications so please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to help in these areas or indeed want my help to build your marketing or volunteer areas within your own club.