Chris Groombridge – Builder
Chris Groombridge is a name synonymous with the Sarnia Saints Rugby Football Club, and the greater Southwest Rugby Union. Chris has been a captain, coach, secretary, treasurer and president of the Sarnia Saints and executive member of the Southwest Ontario Rugby Football club at various points since the late 1970s. His involvement in the sport of rugby, from his playing career through to his transition into a dedicated builder of the game and its culture, has exemplified the Core Values of Rugby. Chris has supported numerous local teams at the club, region and school levels. Through his own initiative, he has developed several funding models and organized sponsorships to keep players supported through registration, reducing travel costs and paying for equipment over the past 45 years. His entrepreneurial nature has been behind the development of numerous events, programs and initiatives within the Sarnia club and throughout the region. Chris developed an annual fundraising event run by the club that supports local charities, raising over $70,000.00 for the Canadian Veterans Association, local Fire Services, MS Foundation, Canadian Mental Health, Breast Cancer Society and the Ontario Brain Tumor Foundation. In his ongoing roles with the Southwest Ontario Rugby Union, Chris has worked tirelessly to build capacity for the game by organizing coaching and refereeing clinics as well as creating welcoming and inclusive experiences for youth and adults in the game. Holding effectively every position one can within a community rugby club, Chris has been recognized as “Mr. Rugby” in Sarnia, being widely regarded for his presence within the community and his constant presence to welcome incoming clubs, referees, visitors and family members to the Saints’ club. His passion for creating positive impressions of the beneficial cultural experience that the sport of rugby uniquely offers is a testament to his dedication and commitment as a builder.
From all of us at the Sarnia Saints R.F.C., congratulations, Chris!