Well, it has certainly been a different few month’s, I really hope the Tiger Family has been supportive of one and all during a very difficult period of time.
Lockdown is starting to ease and we are hopeful it will continue to do so. As a club we are being very cautious, we follow the Governments advice and subsequent protocols issued by the RFU and GRFU, we issue these on our social media feeds for everyone to view or you can visit Englandrugby.com if you need too, for more detail.
Social distance training has started from mid-June with many junior groups very keen to get some exercise, Pitch up and play also restarted on the 1st July with some very innovative techniques being employed to ensure guidance is adhered to. A lot of very happy kids were in evidence and I am sure this will grow over the summer as we are allowed! Men’s and women’s teams also started “preseason” at the end of June. It has been very different, small groups and no contact- a back’s delight I hear some say!!, but in all seriousness, we must all stick to the guidelines and if we do, we can return to the game we all love, that much quicker.
Our AGM took place as planned on Wednesday 24th June, but a first in our 130-year history, it was conducted expertly by our President, Mr David Townsend on Zoom. All official places were filled again, which is a great accolade for the club as many fail to fill posts or have a few people doing many jobs. We will have 14 elected committee members attending the first committee meeting in July, with possibly a few more co-opted members being asked to join, all very healthy with some new blood joining and a very diverse mix representing all parts of our club. At this meeting, we will also confirm the finance committee make-up, an annual challenge!!
You may have heard that we will be opening the club for outside sales from Tuesday 7th July from 6.0-9.0 (Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday only initially) we continue to review the guidance on a weekly basis and are hopeful we may be able to extend that in a few weeks’ time if we get support and everyone sticks to the guidance.
As you are aware the Club was officially closed on the 19th March – but we have not been idle behind the scenes, we have been very successful in managing our resources during the lockdown, possibly better than most. However, as we start to return to a more normal environment, we have launched the new membership season commencing on the 1st July, this is to help spread the costs for parents and players after a difficult period. As last year see our web site for details and payment. We have maintained the grounds and the facilities during this period, so anyone able to help with an early membership contribution, that would be very much appreciated.
We have also developed our Strategic Plan 2020-2025, incorporating lots of our members’ requests/desires. Hopefully at some stage soon we will be able to present this to the membership, so a lot to do and develop. On the back of this plan, sponsorship and marketing are key and we will be targeting the development of our strategies as business starts to normal.
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 pitch allocation has been issued for July, most have been allocated time slots and pitches, please keep to the allocated times and avoid delay in clearing areas so we can maintain the guidelines and social distancing.
Summer Maintenance/ odd Jobs
The Club President has been organising some weekend work parties for volunteers to carry out maintenance, repair and improvement projects at the club. Normally referred to as “Dads army” and has been hugely successful since a bit more movement has been permitted. But we still have a lot to do to get the club ready for a new season. So to get out of the house, clear the cabin fever and do some jobs with a different view!! Every Saturday morning from 9.30 am, email firstname.lastname@example.org if you can help.
Steve Ratcliffe, Club Chairman