BullBuilder

The Bradford Bulls Supporters Trust

BullBuilder - The Bradford Bulls Supporters Trust

Liam Kirk receives second BullBuilder player of the month

BullBuilder, the Bradford Bulls’ Supporters’ Trust, made their player of the month award for March at half-time during the home match against Halifax. It was Liam Kirk, following up his capture of last season’s BullBuilder Under-19 Player of the Year award, who was chosen by coach Matt Diskin to be the recipient of the Trust’s second monthly medal for 2015.

Liam Kirk receives March Player of the Month award from BullBuilder Board member, Jen Bennison

Liam Kirk receives March Player of the Month award from BullBuilder Board member, Jen Bennison

Liam, who is the second forward to be named player of the month after Matty Stableford scooped February’s prize, has been playing at prop for Diskin’s team in recent matches and has played a key role in some of the highly competitive performances that the Under-19s have been putting in against Super League Academy opposition.

However, the award is not just made on the basis of match day performance, as many other factors are taken into consideration. As John Bastian, the club’s Head of Youth, put it, “Liam is not just a good player, but a quality individual. You can rely on him to set a good example in training as well as on the pitch.”

The award was presented to Liam by BullBuilder committee member and membership secretary, Jen Bennison. Jen, who is in her second year on the BullBuilder board, has been active in many other ways in supporting junior rugby at the club, having sponsored former Academy star and current first team member Sam Bates. Most recently, Jen donated a camcorder to the Academy in memory of her late husband, Mick.

BullBuilder Chairman, Mike Farren, said, “We at BullBuilder feel this is an important award in showing the Under-19s that their efforts are appreciated and will be rewarded. Just as important is showing that the fans are behind the lads and behind the development of young players at the club. I was privileged to present the first award and now Jen has presented the second, but we’re hoping to get BullBuilder members – not just the usual suspects from the committee – to present the award in future. If you are a BullBuilder member, or are thinking of becoming one, and would like to present the Under-19 Player of the Month medal on the pitch at Odsal, please get in touch!”

If you want to get involved and help shape the future of the club, you can join or re-join BullBuilder by visiting our website at http://www.bullbuilder.co.uk/join/. For more information, please Email us at info@bullbuilder.co.uk or write to us at Bradford Rugby League Supporters Society Ltd, Suite 2 Buttershaw Works, Buttershaw Lane, Bradford, BD6 2DD.

“Together we are stronger” – Bulls groups work together for a better future

Bradford Bulls Supporters Trust BullBuilder have joined forces with the Bulls Foundation and Bulls Lottery to coordinate and combine efforts in 2015 and the future.

BullBuilder Chairman Mike Farren said “The Big One Lottery, BullBuilder and the Bulls Foundation are three independent bodies with different aims but we often overlap in terms of our activities. In the past many supporters may have been hard pushed to understand the differences between us but we’re now aiming to make our roles clear so we’re better coordinated and people understand what we’re about. Recently there’s been a real meeting of minds between the three groups and we’re all ready to pull together.”

Fans may be familiar with the Bulls Foundation, the official charity of the Bradford Bulls, which provides services to the Bradford district and wider areas to adults, children and young people, regardless of gender, religious belief, cultural heritage or abilities. The Foundation uses the power of sport to educate, motivate and inspire the local community through activities including; sport, health, education, heritage, social inclusion and arts and culture.

Foundation General Manager Mark Winder said “The Foundation gets people involved from all backgrounds, whether it’s getting children and young people playing the game in schools or getting people interested in Rugby League or sport generally. We reach the local community to promote positive lifestyle messages, build confidence, develop talent and promote civic pride. We see our role as part of a triumvirate alongside BullBuilder and the Big One Lottery providing an access point to the game of Rugby League. The child that tries the game for the first time thanks to one of our events could one day end up becoming a long term supporter or even an elite level player. This does not matter as long as they get involved and experience our great sport!” In future, BullBuilder and the Bulls Foundation will hold regular meetings together.

The Bradford Bulls Big One Lottery is the main source of income for the club’s Academy Teams. Monies raised by the Lottery go directly to pay for academy players, coaches, support staff, premises, equipment and overheads. Since it began in 2004 it has raised over £800k and has brought through past players such as Sam Burgess and Elliott Whitehead as well as current stars like Adam O’Brien and Danny Addy.

Steve Ferres said “The Big One is integral to the club’s aim to produce world class talent of its own. Fans that take part have the chance to win cash prizes knowing they’re supporting that aim. It costs as little as £1 a week with chances to win something every day. We’re the bread and butter fund raisers for the Academy and the main source of income for them. We see the Foundation as a catalyst for providing more young players in the Bradford area, some of whom may end up as Bulls players. The big plus about BullBuilder is that it is able to provide support – both in physical items, and in providing activities and other support for the lads – on top of what the club is able to provide. Seeing and experiencing such direct support from the fans is very motivational for the team”.

BullBuilder is the club’s independent supporters trust. It is run by dedicated volunteers who support the Academy Team by providing the “extras” the club is unable to fund. Funds are raised from events and direct donations from members. Over the past two years it has funded thing such as training ground floodlighting, outward bound courses, weight training equipment, specialist kit, groundkeeping equipment, IT equipment and even a Christmas Meal and Ten Pin Bowling night.

Committee Member Sam Grundy said “Thanks to the generosity of its members, BullBuilder provides funds to top up what the Big One provides and give supporters chances to meet the Bulls academy staff and players. We have a variety of events in the pipeline from Race Nights and Q&A sessions to Fundraising Auctions. Each event will give members a chance to meet players and staff in person and get a real insight into the club that you can’t get from any other source. It’s important to coordinate with the Foundation and the Big One so we can have joint events that don’t conflict. The Bulls don’t have a ‘sugar daddy’ who can fund everything so the funds we raise enable us to compete with wealthier clubs.”

Bulls Academy Head John Bastian said “It makes total sense for the organisers of these three great initiatives to come together to set out what they do and to coordinate their activities. What they do is vital for the Bradford Bulls, for Rugby League and for the wider community. I wish them every success.”

Supporters who wish to find out more can visit http://www.bullsfoundation.org http://www.bullbuilder.co.uk or http://www.bradfordbulls.co.uk

BullBuilder help Academy reach “cutting edge” of coaching!

BullBuilder has collaborated with the Bulls Foundation to purchase two Apple Ipads and a MacBook.

We recently caught up with Head of Youth John Bastian to find out how this equipment paid for with member’s contributions is helping Academy staff.

John Bastian with members of the BullBuilder committee

John Bastian with members of the BullBuilder committee

John Bastian said: “Teaching skills is the biggest challenge to a coach.  You have got to break it down. You begin by giving a smart explanation of a skill then get players to practice it.  You then put the player under pressure then hopefully you see the rewards on gameday.   It’s not like the old days when the basics could be taken for granted or you picked them up from watching games on TV or live.   You need to teach them in detail and practice them repeatedly.   The equipment donated by BullBuilder is a fantastic aid for doing that.”

Two Ipads have been provided – one for U16s one for U19s and are used for recording clips of training drills that can highlight individual skills.    The equipment allows coaches to play back footage to players and conduct short analysis with each individual for immediate feedback.

John added:  “During a drill a coach can pull a player across and in 30 seconds he can be shown where he’s going wrong and then immediately go back out and put into practice what he’s learnt.   It allows both coach and player to get more out of session.”

John went on: “The Macbook is very useful as one is able to drop information on it such as whole games from U16s and U19s.   We also intend to use it for other games from amateur games we visit.   It allows us to analyse games in detail and Matt and Leigh spend many hours doing that.  You can use recordings from a statistical or qualitative point of view.  You can look at examples of good players and extenuate positives to illustrate something so that players can learn more.

Now we have this equipment coaches can use to use it in ways to communicate to players so they understand and improve.  This equipment is a massive aid we are able to teach a skill, get players to practice, break it down, practice again and feedback.  The process follows a cycle.”

“During the two close games in the World Club Challenge it was basic skills that cost the British clubs wins. The fundamentals, grip, catch and pass and quality of pass – they’re so important. It’s why we need to practice at length.  The more information we can give players through analysis the better hopefully they’ll become. Other clubs do it and England academy. Now, thanks to BullBuilder the Bulls Academy are too.”

Chairman Mike Farren said, “We can see here how the financial donations made by members to BullBuilder have a real ‘end product’ on the field.”

You can be a part of it too, by joining or re-joining BullBuilder. Just visiting our website at http://www.bullbuilder.co.uk/join/, or contact us at Bradford Rugby League Supporters Society Ltd, Suite 2 Buttershaw Works, Buttershaw Lane, Bradford, BD6 2DD.

Under-19s Get into Winning Ways – and YOU Can Encourage them to Greater Success!

After several promising performances, the Bulls’ Under-19 team recorded their first league victory at the weekend, overcoming London Broncos by 29 points to 16 away from home.

With seven further matches to come in the first phase of the Academy Championship, beginning with a fixture away to the Huddersfield Giants this weekend, there is plenty of time for the young squad really to hit their straps and make their mark before the second phase of fixtures begins.

To encourage the lads to even greater efforts, BullBuilder recently started a new scheme, open to members and non-members alike. We asked fans to pledge to make a donation to BullBuilder to the tune of 5p per point scored during the 12 matches of the first phase of Academy Championship matches by the Bulls’ Under-19 team! As a guideline, in the opening five matches (up to and including the game against London), the Bulls have scored a total of 81 points, and there are 7 more matches to go. To sweeten the deal, there will be a prize of 25% of the pot for the person whose guess is nearest the mark (if there is a tie, the prize money will be shared). So far, we have received estimates ranging from 138 to 225 points.

However, because the season is well under way, we will shortly have to call a halt to new estimates. You have until the end of March 2015 to register your guess and be eligible for the award. We will update the total on our website http://www.bullbuilder.co.uk/.

To register your involvement, please send your name and your guess for how many points will be scored in the 12 league games to info@bullbuilder.co.uk, or write to Bradford Rugby League Supporters Society Ltd, Suite 2 Buttershaw Works, Buttershaw Lane, Bradford, BD6 2DD.

All donations will, of course, be used to support junior rugby at the club!

If you want to help shape the future of the club, you can join or re-join BullBuilder by visiting our website at http://www.bullbuilder.co.uk/join/. For more information, please Email us at info@bullbuilder.co.uk or write to us at Bradford Rugby League Supporters Society Ltd, Suite 2 Buttershaw Works, Buttershaw Lane, Bradford, BD6 2DD.

Camcorder donation makes juniors the stars of the show

Once again, BullBuilder, the Bradford Bulls’ supporters’ trust, has contributed a valuable piece of equipment to enable coaching staff at the club to work ever more efficiently.

Head of Youth John Bastian requested a camcorder to enable the recording of young players in training, to allow the coaching staff to illustrate points for the players to work on and develop as they go through the season – and BullBuilder board member Jen Bennison was able to help him.

John Bastian said, “We’re very pleased with the group of young players we’ve assembled this year. Matt Diskin is working closely with them and giving expert advice. The effect is plain to see, as they have grown in stature with every game. No matter how good the coaching, though, being able to see in action the points that the coach is making, will bring the message home so much more clearly. Being able to record and play back their performances will be an invaluable advantage as we continue to develop the current and future squads.”

“It’s a good feeling to be able to contribute directly to the club in this way, as a supporter and a member of BullBuilder,” said Jen, who has been a BullBuilder board member for the past year. “John came to us requesting a camcorder, and I had a recent model that I was unlikely to use, so it made sense to donate it to the good of the club. I donated the camcorder in memory of my late husband, Mick, who bought it but never had a chance to use it, and who was a Bulls fanatic. I know it will be used effectively by our coaching staff to develop young players – and that’s what BullBuilder is all about!”

Head of youth, John Bastian, receives camcorder from BullBuilder board member, Jen Bennison.

Head of youth, John Bastian, receives camcorder from BullBuilder board member, Jen Bennison.

BullBuilder has recently funded a number of donations from funds raised through events and membership subscriptions. The Trust has provided a trailer for the transportation of training ground maintenance, and a printer for the exclusive use of the junior squads’ coaching teams, as well as funding team building events.

Chairman Mike Farren said, “These extras make all the difference, not only to the development of young players, but also to the recruitment and retention of future squads. Knowing that the fans are behind them and contributing to their future success makes these players feel part of the Bulls’ ‘family’”.

You can be a part of it too, by joining or re-joining BullBuilder. Just visit our website at http://www.bullbuilder.co.uk/join/, or contact us at Bradford Rugby League Supporters Society Ltd, Suite 2 Buttershaw Works, Buttershaw Lane, Bradford, BD6 2DD.

Matty Stableford wins inaugural BullBuilder ‘Player of the Month’ award

Matty Stableford, the Bulls’ Under-19 second-row forward, was the winner of the inaugural BullBuilder Player of the Month award for February. He was presented with his medal by BullBuilder chairman, Mike Farren at half-time during the first team’s game against Hunslet.

Matty Stableford receives the February award from Chairman, Mike Farren

Matty Stableford receives the February award from Chairman, Mike Farren

Mike Farren explained, “BullBuilder, the club’s Supporters’ Trust, has invested heavily in resources for young players, with recent grants for a trailer for ground maintenance, a printer, a video camera and team building events. More will follow, but we also felt it was important to feed back to the young players the extent to which the fans are behind them and appreciate their efforts on the pitch. A Player of the Month award seemed like the ideal way to acknowledge this.”

The award is judged by Under-19s coach Matt Diskin and is based not just on playing form, but also on a number of criteria relating to positive values and behaviours. As Bulls’ Head of Youth, John Bastian put it, “Matty is a good professional. He works hard and sets a good example to the younger players in the squad.”

The award will be presented every month during the season, with an overall 2015 prize, which it is hoped will form part of the Bulls’ end of season awards. Matty said, “I’m very proud to be the first winner of the player of the month.

Meanwhile, BullBuilder has started a new scheme, open to members and non-members alike. We would like you to pledge to make a donation to BullBuilder to the tune of 5p per point scored during the first phase of Academy Championship matches by the Bulls’ Under-19 team! As a guideline, in the opening four matches (up to and including the game against Leeds Rhinos), the Bulls have scored a total of 52 points, and there are 8 more matches to go.

However, this isn’t just a sponsorship request: there will be a prize of 25% of the pot for the person whose guess is nearest the mark (if there is a tie, the prize money will be shared).

To register your involvement, please send your name and your guess for how many points will be scored in the 12 league games to info@bullbuilder.co.uk, or write to Bradford Rugby League Supporters Society Ltd, Suite 2 Buttershaw Works, Buttershaw Lane, Bradford, BD6 2DD. You have until the end of March 2015 to register your guess and be eligible for the award. We will update the total on our website http://www.bullbuilder.co.uk/.

We hope this will be a fun way for supporters to feel even more involved with the Under-19 squad’s matches, while encouraging the lads to keep rattling up the points, in the knowledge that they the donations they generate will all be used to support junior rugby at the club.

If you want to help shape the future of the club, you can join or re-join BullBuilder by visiting our website at http://www.bullbuilder.co.uk/join/. For more information, please Email us at info@bullbuilder.co.uk or write to us at Bradford Rugby League Supporters Society Ltd, Suite 2 Buttershaw Works, Buttershaw Lane, Bradford, BD6 2DD.

A Whole New ‘Point’ to Under-19 Fixtures

Just like the first team, it will be necessary for our extremely promising Under-19 squad to get to know each other and to gel as a unit. In spite of a couple of league defeats against Super League opposition, there are already plenty of promising signs. In their most recent fixture, a solitary try was the difference between the Bulls and the mighty Wigan, while the previous week, they saw off the Catalan Dragons in a friendly.

As you will be aware, BullBuilder provides extensive support to the junior squads at the Bulls. At the first team’s match against Hunslet, we presented the inaugural Under-19 Player of the Month award to Matthew Stableford during the half-time interval. We will also shortly be announcing significant new donations that will help the players and the coaching staff to function even more efficiently and successfully.

Enjoying a meal with coach Matt Diskin after the BullBuilder-funded bowling event

Enjoying a meal with coach Matt Diskin after the BullBuilder-funded bowling event

However, in addition to all the equipment and other support that we provide, we’re always looking for ways to encourage the club’s young players to bigger and better things.

For this reason, we are starting a new scheme, open to BullBuilder members and non-members alike. We would like you to pledge to make a donation to BullBuilder to the tune of 5p per point scored during Academy Championship matches by the Bulls’ Under-19 team! As a guideline, in the opening two matches, the Bulls have scored a total of 14 points, and there are 9 more matches to go.

However, this isn’t just a sponsorship request: there will be a prize of 25% of the pot for the person whose guess is nearest the mark (if there is a tie, the prize money will be shared).

To register your involvement, please send your name and your guess for how many points will be scored in the 11 league games to info@bullbuilder.co.uk, or write to Bradford Rugby League Supporters Society Ltd, Suite 2 Buttershaw Works, Buttershaw Lane, Bradford, BD6 2DD. You have until the end of March 2015 to register your guess and be eligible for the award. We will keep the total updated on our website http://www.bullbuilder.co.uk/.

We hope this will be a fun way for supporters to feel even more involved with the Under-19 squad’s matches, while encouraging the lads to keep rattling up the points, in the knowledge that they the donations they generate will all be used to support junior rugby at the club.

You can join or re-join BullBuilder by visiting our website at http://www.bullbuilder.co.uk/join/.

Bulls’ Under-19 Academy Fixtures Released

Bradford Bulls’ Under-19 Academy fixtures have now been released. You can find them here. Starting with a game this Saturday (7/2/2015) away to Widnes at 2:00PM, the team will face a high standard of opposition, clashing with the Academies of mostly Super League teams.

BullBuilder continues to invest in the development of young players at Academy level and younger, and several of our board members attempt to get to as many Academy matches as possible. It would be great if you could join them and show the level of support for youth Rugby League among the Bradford fans!

Would you like to join BullBuilder at the Bulls Ball?

BullBuilder, the Bradford Bulls’ Supporters’ Trust, will be attending the Bulls Ball on Saturday 7th February, and expects to take one or more tables there. If you would like to attend, or if you already have a ticket and would like to join the BullBuilder table, you can do so, but you will need to let us know by close of business on Monday 2nd February!

If you are interested in joining the BullBuilder table, please get in touch with Paul Butterworth by Email, at bullmansboy@gmail.com

BullBuilder provide All in One Solution for Academy

Academy coaching staff at Bradford Bulls no longer have to travel to Odsal to perform admin tasks thanks to BullBuilder, who have purchased the Academy a brand new “all in one” printing device.

Academy chief John Bastian with new printer, provided by BullBuilder.

Academy chief John Bastian with new printer, provided by BullBuilder.

The “all in one” printer allows staff to print out and scan documents and make photocopies. BullBuilder Chairman Mike Farren said “We had a request from John Bastian who said that such a device would make his staff’s lives much easier and make their work far more efficient. Until now staff would have to go to Odsal to do things like scan documents or perform large print jobs. Now they have a device dedicated for their use only that is based in their office at Tong.”
Academy coach John Bastian said “The coaching staff are very grateful to BullBuilder and the members that contribute monies to them to make these kind of donations possible. This equipment is invaluable for printing information for players that might relate to player performance or training plans. It will also save time and money as it allows us to scan documents on the premises without having to go to the office at Odsal to do it, which took up valuable time. We also get a lot of information from the RFL and other bodies that often requires printed copies. We now have the equipment to service these needs.”
BullBuilder will shortly be publicising details of events taking place in 2015. Bulls fans wishing find out more can visit the BullBuilder website at http://www.bullbuilder.co.uk/ or write to BullBuilder, Bradford Rugby League Supporters Society Ltd, Suite 2 Buttershaw Works, Buttershaw Lane, Bradford, BD6 2DD.