Executive Committee

Bahrain RFC’s Executive Committee is elected for four-year terms in line with Bahraini Government requirements. It consists of a Chairman and seven elected Executive Committee Members plus two appointed Executive Members, who are annually appointed from within the Club’s Rugby and Sports fraternities.

MIKE CUNNINGHAM

Chairman

Before joining BRFC, Mike played for Bahrain Golden Oldie’s arch-rivals Al Khobar and also enjoyed a short spell in UAE playing for the Arabian Potbellies (aka Dubai Sharks). Mike has a history of playing at both senior and veteran level in competitions across the region and has a deep love for the game of Rugby.

Despite being brought up in the Rugby League heartland of Northern England, Mike has adapted with reasonable success to the game of Rugby Union. In similar fashion, Mike is adapting his experience of managing a power company to his role as Chairman of BRFC, but hopefully without the need of his legendary pink scrum cap.

BRUCE AITKEN

Vice Chairman

Our Vice-Chairman hails from Zimbabwe, Bruce has had a lifelong passion for rugby and all things Bokke. A member of the club, and Executive Committee, a voice of reason. For many years Bruce is always available to help and advise when required.

A focal point for the local South African Community, Bruce can often be seen corralling fellow SpringBokke supporters in front of one of the TV’s whilst making sure everyone is happy and well taken care of, he is also the man behind our annual South Africa Day and Potjies Competition.

MARK BURNELL

General Secretary

Mark is the older son of longtime member Richard and, alongside his brother Paul, has graduated the Club’s Junior Programs before representing the First XV.

A feisty lock Mark leads from the front with ruthless efficiency, skills which he has transferred into his opening stint on the Club’s Executive Committee. Mark finds himself with every Rugby players dream being the committee’s representative for the clubhouse and events allowing him to lead the club’s social scene.

SANNE SMITH

Asst. General Secretary

A Danish woman with a passion for golf, Former Club Reception Head Sanne currently oversees the rather daunting Membership Portfolio for the Executive Committee. The Rugby Connection comes from her Welsh husband and talented son who have dragged her into a role she now excels in.

Sanne is also the Executive Committee’s go-to lady for all things decorative turning a combination of a talent for interior and exterior design with a welcome woman’s touch in the Rugby Clubs male-dominated world.

SAM GALE

Honorary Treasurer

One of the younger members of the Executive Sam answered the call when it went out to request a sound financial head to guide the club through what is rapidly becoming a transition from ‘small club’ to ‘large business’ mentalities.

As a result, much of Sam’s work happens behind the scenes but has resulted in a considerable contribution to our ability to put together a large fighting fund to construct new facilities. A keen Cricketer Sam turns out for the clubs Cricket Team whenever possible.

ANDREW WILKIE

Club Captain

Coach, Referee, Sports Committee Guru, and long time Executive Committee Member Andrew’s main contributions are numerous off the field. That said stints as Senior Squad Manager, first XV stand in, Golden Oldies Vice Captain and Touch Rugby Organiser add an impressive playing contribution too.

Much to his wife Caroline’s frustration the kids followed him in to the sport which has seen daughter Laura excel in the UK meaning an extended period gracing the fields and bars surrounding our grand old sport around the world. Look for Andrew and Caroline leading our Senior Teams International Cheer squad and providing us with much needed live scores and updates.

MIKE STAPLETON

President

Our President Mike ‘Sheets’ Stapleton has lived and breathed Bahrain Rugby Football Club for well over thirty years and has held previous positions on the Committee. He has graced the field in all of our representative sides, both regionally and as far afield as the infamous Hong Kong 7s. Few know better, what it takes to build a successful club culture in the region having co-coached a number of championship winning Bahrain sides.

Mike has also provided two talented sons for our first team – Shane and Ross who earnt the honour of representing the Arabian Gulf 7s and Arabian Gulf 15s teams respectively. A more rugby focused family you will be hard pressed to meet, as Mike continues to be integral to keeping the sport at the heart of BRFC.

TOM HAM

Member

New father Tom is a product of the club’s first endeavours into recruiting players from the UK to improve the senior rugby team. As a result, he has now represented BRFC for over a decade, working his way from the backline through to the forwards, with a stint as team captain.

As fatherhood, age and work commitments gradually restrict his playing days, Tom spends his time making sure that the club’s administrative world is in order, which is a fair achievement for a lad who has found the world of Disaster Recovery & domesticity via the rugby fields of Coventry, Wales and Bahrain.

ADAM WALLACE

1st XV Representative

Senior Squad Captain Adam is another product of the club’s willingness to bring players from the UK to bolster its squads.  Adam is perhaps the club’s leading success story as he has gone on to a tremendous career with RCSI, lead the first team resurgence and made a significant impact with the Mike Ballard Conquistadors on their overseas tours.

Adam helps bring sense to our administration and media whilst keeping a professional, watchful eye on all things sport related.