We hope you, your family and loved ones are all keeping well and safe in these strange and uncertain times.
Normally at this time of year we would be looking forward to the business end of the season, a few fixtures to go, hopes of promotion and then to celebrate all our achievements at end of seasons dinners and parties. Rewarding those that have taken part and made contributions to the health and wellbeing of the club and then looking forward to a summer’s rest and recuperation. Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic has put a stop to all those end of seasons plans and we are now dealing with an enforced early break.
There are obviously more important matters affecting us all at the moment, but we thought it would be a good opportunity to update you on measures that have been put in place at Newlands, given the reduction in income and with a view to maintaining the facility for our eventual return.
As you are aware the Club was officially closed on the 19th March following RFU and National Government advice.
Following closure, we have made decisions to significantly reduce costs. We have sought outside assistance by offering staff to be furloughed. From a purely practical point of view, the facility has to have basic maintenance checks and obviously needs to be secure. We have CCTV and on a regular basis a senior committee member is carrying out necessary physical checks, by visiting the site and making a detailed walkaround both internally and externally.
Senior members are in contact on a regular basis, all with the best interests of the club at heart, all being long time members and committee representatives. Following a full review of the current situation, we are pleased to report the Club is in a sound financial position, both in the short and medium-term, clearly, we will keep the situation under regular review and are hopeful to a return to using the facilities again as soon as the government decides it is safe.
With an excess of 500 playing members and another 400 plus social /regular users of the facility we have significant numbers of valued players, coaches, volunteers, supporters, friends, family and sponsors who if we all follow the national guidelines, we will be able to get back to Newlands, which will probably be in a “new normal” way.
A lot has to happen to make a club as large as our’s function, since our enforced closure behind the scenes monitoring is ongoing, with lots of planning for the future, a selection of club activities that are being considered, undertaken and monitored.
This is a very important meeting for the governance of the club and is scheduled to be held at Newlands on Wednesday 27th June 2020 at 7.0pm. We will monitor if that is possible and the relevant notices will be issued in accordance with the club’s constitution when a decision can be made.
Autumn International Matches
Looking a long way forward, in November England are hosting 4 autumn internationals, subject to these going ahead we are hopeful of organising trips to England v Tonga and England v Argentina- keep this in mind, we will contact you all again once Twickenham issue ticket details.
At the end of April we usually undertake quite a detailed programme of ground improvement works, maintenance and reseeding. Due to no club income in the foreseeable future, this spring the work will be limited to the training pitch renovation and a little bit of work to the middle rugby pitch. Hopefully, a long spring/summers rest will give us enough grass cover for all of next winter.
Grass mowing will continue over the spring and summer period. No pitches will be marked out until we have a season start date.
Summer Maintenance/ odd Jobs
The Club President organises some weekend work parties for volunteers to carry out maintenance, repair and improvement projects at the club. Normally referred to as “Dads army” and have been hugely successful over the past few summers. Currently, this is not possible, but again, once we are given the go ahead I am sure the President has an extensive list of jobs needing attention. It will be nice to get out of the house, clear the cabin fever and do some jobs with a different view!! Watch out for dates and lists.
We hope you find this informative and we will keep you updated with club news and latest developments as we have them. If you have any queries please contact the club at firstname.lastname@example.org. Stay safe.
Steve Ratcliffe, Club Chairman