A FORMER rugby chief has encouraged local businesses not to forget the importance of discipline and dedication.

Shap-born John Owen MBE was speaking at a meeting of IN Group, a local business networking branch set-up in Kendal.

Mr Owen has served as the president of the Rugby Football Union and the first director of England Rugby 2015 Board.

The former Cumbrian police inspector explained how his time as past president of the prestigious RFU, had brought world travel and endless opportunities.

“There are many similarities between business people and my sport," he told In Group.


“Both sectors have to be disciplined and dedicated. Whatever we put in, we get back out. Motivation is the key, as well as working together to find ways to move forward.”

IN Group, which has been running for 20 months, has already generated nearly half a million in income for its 21 members.

Co-chairman of the group, Roger Jackson, of Shenstone's Financial Management Bureau in Kendal, said Mr Owen’s visit had been inspirational.

Mr Jackson said: “We started up in a very challenging economic climate and have worked hard to support each other. Each week we are passing significant volumes of work – and income – around the table.

"IN is awarding a bursary to a Kendal College student, regularly supports charitable events and we were delighted to donate to John Owen’s Injured Players Foundation.”

IN meets every Friday at Carus Green, Kendal, and is looking for members from certain professions. Details on www.ingroup.org.uk