The new season is almost here…….message from the youth chair

Good afternoon,


With less than three weeks until the start of the season the rugby club is a hive of activity right now getting ready for the season ahead:

  • Senior training is well under way and they have a pre-season game vs TJ’s this Saturday. Come down and see this years squad.
  • The youth coaches are working up their plans for the season ahead to make their sessions fun, engaging and effective.
  • Lots of personal development under way by the youth coaches to keep up to date with the latest RFU courses and guidelines.
  • The Club is investing: In its infrastructure, facilities and equipment continues: New website, clubhouse improvements and new balls/bibs/tackle pads etc


As I start my first season as the Youth Chair, member of the TWRFC Executive Committee and Director of TWRFC Limited I have to say it is enlightening to see quite how much goes on behind the scenes: The financial planning, 3 year business plans, player recruitment, fundraising etc etc.  Even more impressive is quite how many people volunteer their time and pull together to keep the club the heart of our Community.


I have been around the club since I was a junior, playing for many years and was delighted to coach when my son Ollie entered reception a few years ago. TWRFC is a wonderful place to introduce kids to rugby, to develop those core life skills (Teamwork, Respect, Enjoyment, Discipline, Sportsmanship) and hopefully eventually play senior rugby. I will be pulling on the boots for the seniors/vets again this year….one more year!


Anyway, enough reminiscing the new season is almost here, so it’s time to:

  • Pay your membership via
  • Order some new boots, mouthguard etc
  • Order some club stash from our new provider (Samurai) by visiting the clubs new on-line kit shop at
  • Volunteer in whatever capacity you can to help your local club.
  • Prepare for the party to start on Sunday 2nd September!

Talking of party, the first full club social is already in the diary for the 29th September: The Summer Ball. Be good to see you all there!




Youth Chair

TWRFC Summer Ball 29th September

Club Development Update- July

As we discussed at the AGM, the club has received a number of proposals for ongoing development.  The timing is great… the first team is flourishing following two recent promotions, and the youth section continue to grow (nearing St Mark’s capacity).  We have both the opportunity and need for strategic development.

All of the options presented have merits.  Prior to and at the AGM  we committed to fully explore the viability of all of them and we continue to do so.  At this point we haven’t ruled any of the options out.

In considering the options, we are focusing on the the long term needs of all sections of the club. Any plan has to work for the entire club – U6s through to 1st XV.  Within this structure are several groups which all have slightly different needs.

During the AGM we stated that we intend to explore all ideas prior to committing and this remains the case, at this point no option has been rejected.  Some options were significantly more advanced than others and in order to better understand the choices available, we are working with potential partners to further expand and explore the viability of other options (in particular Option 2- Land Swap).  We anticipate firming this up as soon as we can at which point we will build a team from those who have very kindly offered their expert skills and experience prior to consulting with the Club on all viable options.

Strategically we have the option to:

  1. Sell 4th team pitch and use the money generated to improve club facilities
  2. Sell our portion of St. Marks (Or all of it in conjunction with TWBC should they wish to partner with us) and relocate TWRFC to an alternative locality in the Tun Wells area
  3. Redevelop existing facilities in -situ

These broadly align to the options outlined at the time of the AGM, but we need to be careful to not mix our strategic choice, with the choice of partner. We need to both decide which option best meets the needs of the club and also to decide our approach for delivery, and what advisers and partners we will use.

Roger Clarke- President.

New Season ahead…..

Good afternoon everyone and welcome to the new Season for 2018/19. Pre-Season kicked off last Tuesday and will continue every Saturday mornings, Tuesday and Thursday evenings up at St Marks with Simon and Hammy putting everyone through their paces. We looking forward to seeing a few new faces this Season as well as all the regulars and very much looking forward to another successful Season. Hopes are high as is the confidence and we will be targeting a top 4 place this year.

We had our first Rugby Club Senior Executive meeting last week, welcoming our newcomer in Mike Rigby, who has taken over as Youth Chairman and supported on the evening by Martin Croker who will be looking after Membership this year as well as our new look Website.

It was a long meeting but a very important and positive meeting. Finances are looking healthier with new sponsors coming on Board this Season, our success attracts new Business and more interest and its great to see more and more people wanting to be involved.

The big topic within the Club is still the Development Plans and as mentioned at the recent AGM we are no further down the line to date, however we are hoping that very soon we will be in a position to announce news and set a date for the proposals. We will keep you all updated as soon as we have any news so watch this space!

It’s great news that both Tek Seating and Axa PPP Healthcare have agreed to sponsor our 1st XV shirts again this year and Street Fuel Limited sponsoring the shorts.

This year also sees every side from U6’s through to the 1st XV running out in the same colours and same design, taken on the One Club ethos.

On September 29th I am organising a Black Tie Summer Ball which will be held in a marquee at St Marks, sit down 3 course dinner, plenty of drinks, music, raffle and auction. Details are on the website and please contact Michelle Greenall if you wish to come. It will be a great event and one that I hope we will hold on an Annual basis for the whole club!!

I wish you all well in Pre Season, train hard and make our great Club even more of a Success in all ages!!

Anyone wishing to put their hand up as a Volunteer this year in any form then please let me know. We desperately need more hands on deck!


John Crees


Not my favourite system…

Membership renewal is once again coming round, which means once again we are all going to get to test our wits against the (awful) GMS user-interface.

Progress last year…

Last season we cutover the youth section (the vast majority of our members), and now have almost 1,300 active members according to GMS.

The process itself was not entirely painless for anybody signing up, and it certainly wasn’t painless for Michelle and I as we dealt with the many ‘features’ of GMS.  In fact only about half of people trying to sign-up for membership were able to complete the process without our help.

This season I am quietly hoping that it’s going to be MUCH easier:

  1. The vast majority of data issues have been resolved (I personally merged >150 duplicate records)
  2. Most parents should have their username & password, and for those who have forgotten hopefully they will have updated their email, so they can reset their own password.
  3. Senior players are more likely than parents to know their username/password and have better data quality.

Even so, it’s a lot of work – so why would we do this?

There’s a few reasons for us choosing to move our membership onto GMS…

  1. At this point we have separate processes for tracking senior players, youth section and vice-president memberships. Some of our process are also manual which can introduce errors, and goCardless is a payments platform not a membership system. This makes pulling together an accurate list of all paid-up members time-consuming.
  2. In either case, we are required (as part of our RFU accreditation) to keep some data with GMS current, it’s the system used for player registration, qualifications, etc.   Anything else we chose to use for membership would cause us to have to duplicate data that is held in GMS.
  3. Having a single source of the truth which is provided and maintained by the RFU takes a lot of the burden from TWRFC in remaining compliant with data privacy regulations and GDPR… There’s still much improvement required in GMS in this regard, but we can see the RFU are working on it.

Speaking of GDPR & Data-Privacy, what are you doing about that…

We’ve released our privacy statement

The youth exec are planning to move all Youth TWRFC communications to happen via mail-groups (probably on googlegroups).  This will give us a consistent approach, which automatically hides the email addresses of our members, and also includes an opt-out link on each email.  A side benefit of this is that the club will (for the first time) have an easy way of communicating to it’s youth parents.


My New Relationship

I’m Michelle Greenall. Club Secretary, first team admin person, Saturday gate and lunch  organiser and purchaser of stash. And I’m in a new relationship.  The club has changed kit supplier and I’m tentatively getting to know my new “partner”. We are in a very pleasant honeymoon period and I’m getting lots of attention and being showered with samples of lovely new kit (which will be available to buy very soon in our on-line shop).  The new kit really is cool and the males in my house get very excited by it all.  To the wives and mothers out there it’s just more rugby stuff and surely they’ve all got enough now.  But there’s never enough stash is there boys?

When I took over ordering the club kit in 2016 my partner had been chosen by someone else. Then that someone else decided that he needed to spend more time with his own real family and I was asked to step in. It was like an arranged marriage. I felt like I pulled back the covers and lay down in someone else’s warm spot. I waited to see who would make the first move. But it turns out that Kit Supplier doesn’t make a move. Kit Supplier has zero moves. Kit Supplier tells you that if you want anything from him you need to put it in writing and wait for 12-14 weeks. He was nice enough, he called me back when I left a message, he answered my questions with just the slightest hint of derision but there would be no kit for 3 months. I learned very quickly that although generally in life there are good and bad days, sunshine and rain, in the club/kit supplier relationship the club have all the bad days and the kit supplier takes the cash. The kit arrived that season but some of it didn’t turn up till Christmas. I stood in the shop every Sunday telling people that it was a good thing there were no wet tops in November because then little Jonny would really appreciate it when Santa brought him one for Christmas. Wherever I went random strangers would ask me if I had any socks in the shop yet and my children would laugh at them and say “soon”.

Year 2 came. The gift of choice for a first anniversary is paper and I was swamped in that. Everyone needed new shirts so that was 12 lots for the youth section and oh by the way, can you also order the on and off field kit for the seniors too? Plus the stock items for the shop; that was a whole lot of kit. I was absolutely up to the task. No problemo. I learned a whole new language. I learned about DST files for embroidery and the colour run info that goes with it. I learned about pantones and EPS files and sublimated fabrics. I got to the stage where I could look at someone’s hoodie and know whether the logo was the right euro gold or not. Lots of them weren’t but that’s all to do with the factory apparently. Obviously it can’t be Kit Supplier’s fault. Refer back to sunshine and rain in the paragraph above. The kit arrived and it arrived pretty much on time. Boxes and boxes of the stuff filled my house. My husband lost his sense of humour and we lost sight of our floor. I was ridiculously happy and told every head coach that would listen that I had his shirts all ready to give out on the first weekend of the season. I spent an absolute fortune and the Treasurer went mental. 18 months on he’s still talking about the amount of money we gave Kit Supplier last season. It doesn’t matter that every age group had a sponsor and the parents all contributed. We still spent thousands on kit and the accountant hates the sight of those big numbers on his balance sheet.

While I was wading through boxes the first team had had a pretty good year. They got themselves promoted to the National Leagues and picked up a shiny new coaching team. The shiny new coaches had been in a relationship with another kit supplier and they really wanted me to join the party. I had just got used to the old one and the treasurer had almost stopped mentioning the bills. Why would I want the pain of a messy divorce? How would I tell them it was over? I agreed to meet with new Kit Supplier. A first date – just a coffee, with a chaperone. New Kit Supplier sent a representative who was very young but keen. Nothing was too much trouble though and I warmed to his enthusiasm. I asked to meet the MD of the company and he swept in with the presence of Anthony Joshua and a handshake to match. It was like meeting the new in-laws and finding out that you were marrying into rugby royalty. The list of other wives in the harem was impressive and MD told me that there was a place for me if I wanted it. So I’m starting again with a new Kit Supplier. My own personal second marriage. Just about to sign the pre-nup and promise to faithfully buy everything from them for the next three years. I will honour them with timely orders and obey the rules of the contract. I will spend hours working out quantities and sizing and approving new designs. At the end of the day nobody really cares where it comes from. As long as they’ve got the stash I’ll be seated on the top table, I’ll get the cake and the sugared almonds and the Chairman will thank me in all his speeches. If I get it wrong there’s a get out clause after 12 months and I’ll have to start the whole process all over again.
Is there an app for that?


A new website…

I don’t have much to write as I am really testing out the blogging functionality, hopefully this post will in the fullness of time be replaced with something that is a little more content-rich and interesting.