Old Alleynian Rugby

A local rugby club and community

One of London's oldest amateur rugby clubs

39 GoodGymers have supported Old Alleynian Rugby with 25 tasks.

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Previous sessions

Too much sunshine, nah, just brush if off!

Sunday 28th August

Written by Sam Lefevre (he/him)

Ed and Sam met Helen who was covering for Ian at the Old Alleynian Rugby Club for the monthly Sunday morning volunteering session.

Since it was a beautiful day, Helen asked if we could paint the back of the Clubhouse. We spent the hour painting the Clubhouse black in the blaring heat as it slowly approached midday.

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I rather be dead in a ditch

Wednesday 3rd August

Written by Sam Lefevre (he/him)

After a week away in the Croatian sun (with a massive thank you to Paulin for covering last week's group run), it was back to GoodGym and getting fit again!

Our hub, Old Spike Roastery, was providing sauna like conditions as everyone started to stream in at 18:30. There was some last minute panics as the task had to be changed a few hours before due to a double booking. Yet, Ian and the Old Alleynian Rugby Club needed our assistance and he was happy to host us with only a 12 hour notice period.

After some quick announcements (including Emma's birthday over the weekend), we got on with the warm-up and for tonight's ice-breaker question, Sam still thinking about his holidays asked: If you found yourself at Heathrow airport right now looking at the board, where would you go for a long weekend?

We had a host of Scandinavian cities like Copenhagen, Stockholm and Gothenburg, but we also had Berlin, Baku and Marrakech

Ditch him/her

The 3k run took us along Crystal Palace Road to Sam's flat, so he could collect gardening gloves. This meant we arrived at Old Alleynian Rugby Club for 19:15 instead of 19:10, but still we had plenty of time to do the task at hand.

We met Alex and Nathan, who ran and cycled, respectively, to the task. Ian got straight to it and told us we had to clear the ditches surrounding the back of the rugby club as dry leaves had fallen in. This would help as in the autumn these leaves if left become wet and the drainage system of the rugby pitches aren't as useful.

Everyone took either a rake or a "leaf collector" (that's what I'm calling it) as we worked in pairs and threes to rake and then collect the leaves into a tonne bag to piled up by the Shed. Everyone apart from Benjamin. He was given the task to sieve through a barrel of sand to get any stones or rocks out before laying this sand on the rugby pitch - where there were obvious patches/holes.

The 40 minute session was fuelled with tunes and Claire's and Lindy's life stories (read: dramas). So, of course, we give each other sound advice.

Noticing the time approaching 20:00, Sam and Ian called everyone in for a quick game of touch rugby as we split the teams by Red GG shirts (Alex, Emma, Benjamin, Daryl and Sam) versus non-Red GG shirts (Ian, Lindy, Nelly, Nathan and Claire. Powered by the awesome-ness of a team look, the Red GG shirts won 4-1.

We were treated to a French sweet treat before running over 3k back to Old Spike Roastery via Dawson's Hill (to get the views). Lindy and Nathan went their separate ways from the group run, but since it was the first Wednesday of the month, Nathan met us at Social for our monthly social!

Thank You to all the GG-ers

A personal thanks from me to all those who came out tonight! It wasn't the run that I advertised, but as you can understand it was a last-minute cancellation, so thank you for going along with the plan. I appreciate that it is a longer run and I become heavy on time management as I need to get you back to Old Spike Roastery by 20:30. Still, it was a very enjoyable night with the rugby and drinks at Social for our monthly social.

Thank You Ian

GoodGym is all about getting fit and doing good! We praise the runners/cyclists/walkers who come to get fit and help out, but we often forget about our task owner. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Ian for arranging this session at the last moment. Appreciate you helping me out this time as I love everything to be pre-organised, but sometimes you have to adapt and be flexible. Thank you again!

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To go forwards, you must go backwards

Wednesday 29th June

Written by Sam Lefevre (he/him)

Eight GoodGymers on a cold June afternoon inside the warm Old Spike Roastery for the 3.3k group run to Old Alleynian Rugby Club. It was the first time Ed and Julia had joined a group run after attending a few other GoodGym sessions - community missions. After Sam welcomed them and gave his welcome GoodGym speech to the team, he then presented Lindy with the old GoodGym black cape with the 50 badge and a balloon with 50 on it to celebrate her milestone, which she achieved 10 days prior. Congrats again! With too much emotion for a small cafe, we proceed to warm-up on the green.

Everyone had the chance to think about their answer for the ice-breaker question tonight, which was all to do with Sam watching "House of Gucci" and seeing some good and bad acting performances, so he asked: Which actor or actress would play you in your biopic - for looks or for acting skills?

You will have to guess who picked who, but we had Eddie Redmayne, Adam Driver, Billie Piper, Emily Blunt and Kate Winslet to name a few.

Touch, pause, garden (or the other way round)

Our steady 20 minute (3.3k) run took us through East Dulwich via Crystal Palace Road and into Dulwich Park before meeting Ian and Olive who had cycled to the task and was already getting stuck in.

Ian had a short tidying up session for us, which was to rake and bag up compost, clear back any growth (especially nettles) and to lay down sand in holes on the rugby pitches, which Ed took care of. The session lasted 20 minutes before Ian decided to call it for a night as he threw everyone into a touch rugby game - split by red t-shirts versus non-red t-shirts, which was an advantage for the red team with an extra player.

The game was simple - touch rugby - run forwards and pass the ball backwards. If you get touched, you stop running, pause and pass the ball to your teammate. After five (very loose) touches, the ball would be turned over to the opponent for them to attack and try to score a try.

After 15 minutes, we were locked in at 4-4 and with the last play approaching, Emma broke through to score a last-minute try for the red (GoodGym) team! Everyone was knackered as the rugby session was quite tiring for those who haven't played before.

Our group run was complete after making a pit-stop at Dawson's Hill to take in the views before running back to Old Spike Roastery via Peckham Rye Common.

Thank You to all the GG-ers

A personal thanks from me to all those who came out tonight! Another packed session, where I had planned to do quite a few things and luckily we could get them done in the two hours. Thanks for bearing with me and many many congrats to Lindy for hitting her 50th good deed and we hope to see you wearing the black t-shirt soon!

And as for Daryl, Emma and Nelly - the GG cape awaits you!

Thank You Ian

GoodGym is all about getting fit and doing good! We praise the runners/cyclists/walkers who come to get fit and help out, but we often forget about our task owner. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Ian for arranging this session - a mixture of gardening and rugby. I know Ed is keen to get back into rugby again and may come and play touch on Saturdays, so your encouragement and enthusiasm to get people playing works. Keep it up and I'll be in touch soon about the next session!

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Need for seed

Sunday 26th June

Written by Paulin Shek (she/her)

Last Sunday, I went to the Old Alleynian Rugby club to help out. When I arrived, I was met by Ian, who set me the task of seeding the grass, to try and grow back some sparse patches now that rugby season is over.

Since it was just me, I put on my Strava and got to work.

90 minutes later, I have used 2 bags of grass seed, covered 2 rugby pitches, and run/walked close to 5k. I especially enjoyed running on the nice soft grass as topsoil had been added recently!

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Nearly shear perfection

Sunday 29th May

Written by Sam Lefevre (he/him)

Three GoodGymers and two friends turned up for this Sunday morning community mission in Dulwich.

Our monthly session with Ian at the community rugby club brought out Alison from GG Bromley and Laura and Sam from GG Southwark. Sam had invited his friend Sam and Swapnali.

It was such a beautiful morning for the task at hand. Since the rugby season was over, there were no kids training in the grounds, but our efforts were concentrated along the main road (South Circular) to trim back the hedges with loppers and shears. Since any overhanging trees is the rugby club's responsibility and they wanted to ensure walkers, runners and especially cyclists wouldn't have a restricted path.

We spent the hour and a bit chopping and throwing the cuttings back onto the grounds to some tunes from Sam as we got into the rhyme.

As it got closer to midday, Sam called it as we tidied up and brought back the tools before Ian offered us some brownies and fresh fruits.

There was just time for a group photo before Laura had to dash! We are back at Old Alleynian Rugby Club next month (always on the last Sunday of the month). As always, it's great to have as many hands as we can get.

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We came, we SAW, we conquered!

Sunday 24th April

Written by Sam Lefevre (he/him)

With the beautiful Sunday morning sunshine shining through, five GoodGymers and a friend of Sam's, Aaron, came along to assist Ian with his Sunday morning Green Team session at Old Alleynian Rugby Club.

The five GoodGymers included two newbies, Charlotte and Kirsty who heard about GoodGym through a friend and wanted to check it out rather than sleeping in and having a Sunday brunch. Good choice and welcome again!

After meeting at the top of the drive, we headed down to see Ian and his two DoE volunteers tackling the area where we were on Wednesday evening for our group run. Ian had a few tools left for us to take, but he went back up to the shed to get a few sheers and rakes. After contemplating on what tools to choose, Charlotte, Daryl, Kirsty, Paulin and Sam chose between loppers, saws and rakes to start taking down the prickly trees, thorny brambles and invasive ivy.

Within the hour and ten minute session, we managed to cut and saw down metres upon metres of trees, brambles and ivy, which were all added to the massive pile of dead trees that has been developing over the past month and a bit!

Sam stopped the session 20 minutes early as he wanted to use the last 10-15 minutes to introduce the basics of rugby to everyone. Ian started off with some passing tips and techniques before we progressed to a touch rugby game. Everyone managed to get involved and hopefully, had some fun.

It wouldn't be a session with Ian without treats and he surely delivered with brownies for all! We're back at the end of May again, so please look out for that session on the GoodGym website!

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