This is a brief history of Enköpings Rugbyklubb, how it was founded, it's achievements and it's ambitions and about Swedish rugby in general. Where better to start than at the very beginning, how the club was founded? This is best described in a translated article from the local newspaper, Enköpings-Posten, back in 1968.
How it all began
The year was 1968 and Dennis Pettersson, a twenty-nine year old Rugby player (playing for Malmö), is sitting on a night train to Skåne. But there is a problem. He had just moved to the small town of Enköping, to take up a new job as a teacher in the local Vocational School – and there is no club there. Pettersson, a fullback or back row forward, decided to do something about the matter; and that decision was what would eventually become one of Sweden's most famous and successful sporting organisations. Enköpings Rugbyclub.
STARTED IN ENKÖPING'S LOCAL NEWSPAPER, ENKÖPINGS-POSTEN (EP). The 13th of September 1968, Dennis went inside the EP editorial office at Kungsgatan where he explained who he was, that he played for Malmö RC and that he was about to start his own club in town.
“I hope there is some interest,” Dennis had said.
But there wasn't.
A week later, it's Sports Day at Dennis's school and Dennis has assigned half of the football pitch to himself in order to introduce rugby to those who were interested. Two students showed up. One of them happened to be excused from all physical education – he shouldn't run according to his doctor – so there was only two players. The friend of the excused and Dennis himself.
In order to find more interested, Dennis went by the other sporting activities. There, he eyed up a few likely looking boys and convinced them to join. Shortly after, Enköpings-Posten arrived at the Enavallen Sports Ground to see the pupils run around, trying the sport. According to the report, they were 'falling like skittles'. Dennis was still convinced they would gather a team, though. And all of a sudden there were interest.
When Dennis later advertised a meeting to show a movie about the sport, fifteen people turned up. It was in that moment, the 3rd of October 1968, that Dennis finally decided that Enköpings Rugbyclub would be formally founded.
The Club itself is situated in the town of Enköping, www.enkoping.se, which has a population of approximately 43 000 (2017). The town is within 40 minute drive from the major cities in Sweden like Stockholm, Uppsala and Västerås.
The Club is affectionately known as ERK and was founded in 1968. Apart from being one of the longest serving members of the Swedish Rugby Federation, it is renowned as being the most successful rugby club, not just in Sweden, but in Scandinavia.
The Club has won the Swedish Championship (in all sections i.e. Men's, Women's and Youth) 50 times at 15, 10, and 7 a´side competitions, most recently the First XV winning the championship in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010 and in 2011.
The Men's First XV won the League Championship 11 seasons in a row from 1978 to 1988 inclusive. The Club has also finished as runners-up or third place on another 95 occasions. It also boasts the most capped Swedish national player and one home-grown player has also played for the rest of Europe (against `The 4 Home Nations`) and also for 'The Barbarians'.
The Club has without doubt the best rugby facilities in Sweden, boasting its own, newly refurbished and extended club house with function room, bar and kitchen area. Excellent changing facilities for both men and women and an excellent floodlit first team playing area with spectator seating and standing area. We also have PA-system and elevated press area, a second pitch with scrummaging machine and a separate weight-training/fitness room.
Currently team wise the club consists of the following:
Men's First XV and Sevens team
Women's First XV and Sevens team
Youth teams from under 7 to under 19.
The Club has a strong membership and the team is well supported, the club record home game attendance being just under 1 500, to watch the second leg of the national final in 2011.
As previously stated the facilities at the club are the best in Sweden in rugby – which is why it regularly hosts national team matches and competitions; as well as national team training sessions. The club hosted, over a weekend, the Swedish Youth Rugby Championships. Attracting nearly 800 young players, boys and girls, from U9's to U17's from 13 clubs nationwide, plus the accompanying parents, coaching staff and supporters. The club organized all the sleeping-, eating- and of course, playing arrangements, it was deemed a great success by everyone.
The club has also hosted National teams training sessions this year, which at the moment boasts 5 club players in the Men's National Squad and 2 in the Women's National Squad, the club also regularly host the National Junior training camps.
As for the future, the Club has high hopes of becoming Swedish Champions again soon. Looking to strengthen and improve the side it has always welcomed overseas players, last seasons First XV included, Fijian, English, Bosnian and New Zealanders, one of whom has been player coach in the American Super League and has been the club's player coach earlier. There has also been a great resurgence in interest in the women's team.
The development of the youth section continues, with excellent coaching and the introduction of a ´Youth Development Scheme` within the schools and 'Rugby School'. So the prognosis for the club is looking good with a lot of young players coming through.
The club has a good reputation within the local community and has a good working relationship with the local authority, with regards to fostering relations with the local youth of the town. In fact, the rugby club was the founder of the now biggest youth activity centre in the town ´Activitetshuset`, which is now a full time independently run location.
- The Club has won many ´stipendium` (Certificates of Merit) from national organisations for club friendliness.
- The Club itself has an anti-drug and anti-social behaviour policy.
- The club receives good media coverage in the local newspaper.
At the moment, the club are sponsored by many local companies and shops (125), by Gold or Silver or other sponsorship deals. This includes the company's name on our shirts/shorts, ground advertising, advert in match-day-announcement in Enköping's local paper, match posters and programme, placed on the website and free match tickets.
We are pleased to say that our kit sponsors are, who provide us with excellent clothing and equipment. We have held the resurrected National 7’s Competition for many years, which to promote our kit sponsors.
Pictures and video footage
If you look under "rugbybilder.se" and ERK-bilder on the club's homepage, you will find pictures and some video footage from matches and pictures from newspaper articles.
We hope you have found the above informative and hope it has helped in effort to join our club.
Interested in joining us?
The club is always looking for new players worldwide but specially in the local area, Västerås, Uppsala, Sala, Strängnäs or Eskilstuna. So if you are interested, please give us message on https://www.facebook.com/Enkopingrugby/ or an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have questions – please do not hesitate to contact us on the above contact details. Below is a brief summary of rugby here in Sweden, more information can be found on the Swedish Rugby Unions own website: www.rugby.se.
The Swedish Rugby Federation (Svenska Rugbyförbundet), (the R.F.U. equivalent) was founded in 1932 and is based in Enköping/Stockholm.
The teams compete in 3 divisions, ´Allsvenskan` and Division 1, 2 and Sevens Men and Ladies “new clubs and tournamnets”, with the season running from April to the beginning of October. The teams with the highest aggregate points goes through to the final, which is played on the same aggregate points basis over 2 matches. The winners of the Swedish Championship (Svensk Mästerskap) gets the privilege to be called "the Swedish Champions" (Svenska Mästare).
The final has over the last years attracted national TV sports news coverage.
On a national front, the Swedish national side failed to qualify through the early stages of the European Group qualification round for the Rugby World Cup, but still compete in the European Group competition. However, the Swedish Union is active in formulating methods on how to make the Swedish rugby better.
Enköping Women won the Swedish championship 2010 Gold: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nnfWzL5OP4
Enköping Men won the Swedish championship 2011 by beating their old rivals Stockholm Exiles. A club record crowd of just under 1 500 spectators turned up to watch the Exiles press hard, testing the strong Enköping defence.
Watch it here here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWA9eyfPoX0
ERK 7´s SM in Malmö 2010: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XgQAbzJ7r0