Tunbridge Wells RFC launches community led development plans

Tunbridge Wells RFC (TWRFC) has submitted a planning application for the construction of a new ‘3G’ artificial grass pitch to be constructed alongside the existing first XV pitch. The application also encompasses an expansion in parking at the club, a relocation of a cricket square and a new storage building.

TWRFC has a thriving youth and woman’s section alongside its successful senior section. Squad numbers are expanding each year with its under six level intakes doubling inside 5 years. The club is also reaching out into the community to support primary schools and schools with special educational needs, to progress and promote access to active sport for all ages, abilities, and backgrounds.

Proposed 3G Pitch (Minifie Architects)

The proposed development is a continuation on the club’s focus on improving playing facilities following on from a six-figure investment in the drainage at the club over the summer. TWRFC hopes these plans, once delivered, will accelerate ambitions for a new sporting hub at St. Marks

Mike Rigby, Club Chairman commented ‘This is a hugely exciting moment for the club. The proposed development will transform the facilities at St Marks allowing the club to move forwards but also giving opportunities to local schools, clubs and other community groups to be able to benefit from the facilities. The club is committed to improving facilities and being at the heart of the community, this application represents our ambition’

TWRFC Ambassadors (l-r) David Strettle (England), Tammy Samuels (England), Martin Corry (England & Lions) and Ben Kayser (France) support the launch

To support the application an event was held at the club to formally launch the plans to TWRFC supporters and to start the fund-raising efforts. “The event was designed to let members and supporters know more about the development plans” said Steve Daly, Head of the Development Committee. “We had a great turn out including some of our club ambassadors and former Rugby Internationals Martin Corry (England & Lions), David Strettle (England), Ben Kayser (France) and Tammy Samuels (England). The event was the first of a number that will be held in the coming months and we were pleased with the level of interest. Should a person or business that is focussed on corporate social responsibility, be interested in our project, we are open for partnerships. Please contact us”.

6 NATIONS INTERNATIONAL TICKETS 

The 2021/22 season will see just 2 home games at Twickenham and demand for tickets will be very high – please also note the Spectator Code of Conduct for ALL home internationals. This conduct does mention Mobile ticketing and the intention is for ticket sales to be extensively migrating to this method and I am expecting the majority of 2022 6 Nations tickets to be in Mobile format via the Twickenham Stadium App.

To satisfy as many people as possible I will have to keep requests to a combined total of 2 tickets per member (can be a single ticket for each or pair on one of these games).

I will formulate a list on ‘first come, first served’ and work through the list as and when I can secure tickets – to validate your requests you will have to be, at minimum, a ‘paid up’ social member of the club.

IMPORTANT****** please advise your EMAIL address that is resident on any device that will be used for a mobile ticket and the subsequent download of the Twickenham Stadium App.

Schedule:

  • England v Wales – Saturday 26 February 2022 – KO 16:45
  • England v Ireland – Saturday 12 March 2022 – KO 16:45

The ticket prices are as follows:

Away Matches

The 3 remaining games are away, we only receive very limited tickets from the respective RFU’s. Please advise of your interest to be included within the draw for any tickets that we receive.

Following discussions with the host unions we can confirm that all people wishing to travel to the away fixtures will be required to show proof of double vaccination.

England senior men’s away matches are:

  • Scotland v England – Saturday 5 February 2022 – KO 16:45
  • Italy v England – Sunday 13 February 2022 – KO 15:00 (GMT)
  • France v England – Saturday 19 March 2022 – KO 20:00 (GMT)

ALL tickets will be subject to a £5 admin fee – please apply for tickets via email: Montgos.89a@hotmail.com

Regards,

Stuart Montgomery

Twickenham International tickets 2021/22 – Additional Information

Twickenham International tickets 2021/22    

************* IMPORTANT **************

 

This does include detail of mobile tickets that will become very much the preferred way of distributing tickets in the 2022 season – only limited for 2021 Autumn series.

SPECTATOR CODE OF CONDUCT

PLEASE NOTE THAT TICKETS FOR THE MATCH(ES) ARE AVAILABLE TO PURCHASE SUBJECT TO THE RFU OBTAINING THE RELEVANT LICENCE AND APPROVALS FOR THE MATCH INCLUDING THOSE FROM PUBLIC HEALTH AUTHORITIES.

IT MAY BE NECESSARY FOR US TO MAKE CHANGES TO THIS CODE OF CONDUCT AT SHORT NOTICE. THIS MAY INCLUDE ASKING TO COMPLY WITH ADDITIONAL OR DIFFERENT REQUIREMENTS TO THOSE SET OUT BELOW. THIS MAY ALSO INCLUDE A MATCH BEING PLAYED WITHOUT SPECTATORS, WITH FEWER SPECTATORS OR BEING CANCELLED. WHERE THIS HAPPENS WE WILL PROVIDE YOU WITH AS MUCH PRIOR NOTICE AS POSSIBLE. PLEASE SEE www.englandrugby.com/tickets FOR INFORMATION ON REFUNDS.

BEFORE YOU BUY, SELL, TRANSFER/ALLOCATE OR ARE TRANSFERRED/ALLOCATED TICKETS YOU MUST READ AND AGREE TO FOLLOW THIS CODE OF CONDUCT. PLEASE PRINT A COPY OF THIS CODE OF CONDUCT OR SAVE IT FOR FUTURE REFERENCE. A COPY IS AVAILBLE AT www.englandrugby.com/tickets AND YOU SHOULD CONTINUE TO CHECK FOR UPDATES AND CHANGES TO THIS CODE OF CONDUCT.

THE FOLLOWING REQUIREMENTS AND RESTRICTIONS ARE REQUIRED FOR US TO COMPLY WITH THE SOCIAL DISTANCING REQUIREMENTS IN PLACE AT THE TIME OF SALE OF TICKETS FOR THE MATCH. IF THE CURRENT RESTRICTIONS ON SOCIAL DISTANCING ARE RELAXED OR REMOVED BEFORE THE DATE OF THE MATCH THEN WE MAY MAKE CHANGES TO THE REQUIREMENTS AND RESRICTIONS BELOW TO REFLECT SOCIAL DISTANCING REQUIREMENTS (IF ANY) ON THE DATE THE MATCH IS PLAYED. THIS MAY, IF PERMITTED, MEAN THAT YOU WILL BE SEATED NEXT TO PEOPLE FROM OTHER HOUSEHOLDS TO YOUR OWN. YOU SHOULD THEREFORE ONLY PURCHASE TICKETS IF YOU ARE COMFORTABLE WITH THAT POSSIBILITY.

YOU MUST MAKE SURE THAT ANYONE YOU BUY TICKETS FOR, OR SELL OR ALLOCATE/TRANSFER TICKETS TO, HAS ALSO READ AND AGREED TO FOLLOW THIS CODE OF CONDUCT.

This is essential because we are relying on you following this Code of Conduct in order to help us to protect you and your fellow fans and to assist and protect our staff.

If you don’t comply with this Code of Conduct you face being denied entry or being asked to leave without refund or compensation.

Is attending the match the right thing for you and the people in your household bubble?

This is a personal decision based on your own circumstances and those of anyone else in your household (this includes anyone you are in a support bubble with). You should decide this both before buying or being transferred/allocated tickets and again on the day of the match.

Whether attending is the right decision or not will depend on factors like your age, health, how likely you are to catch an infection and how serious it would be if you did. If you are in any doubt, please consult the latest government guidance at www.gov.uk.

WE RECOMMEND THAT SPECTATORS WEAR A CLOTH FACE COVERING WHILE AT THE STADIUM.

Rest assured that we are doing everything we reasonably can to minimise the risks as much as possible but only you can decide whether or not attending the match is the right decision for you and others in your household.

You MUST NOT attend if you or anyone else in your household (including anyone in your support bubble): has or develops any COVID-19 symptoms or has tested positive for COVID-19; and/or, are/is required to self-isolate including when having tested positive for COVID-19 or when contacted by NHS Test and Trace; and/or other restrictions are in place which mean you cannot safely travel to or from or attend the match; and/or you are unable or unwilling to comply with the requirements of the NHS COVID Pass; and/or you are unable to comply with any other restrictions or conditions introduced that apply to attending a sporting event (where additional restrictions or conditions are introduced we will provide you with as much advance notice as possible).

Tickets

All tickets will be issued digitally unless otherwise specified at point of sale for the relevant match. Where digital tickets are purchased for England matches at Twickenham this will be through the Twickenham Stadium app.

Where you purchase or are allocated tickets which are for use by other people, you MUST transfer a ticket to each person who will be attending the match as soon as possible following your purchase or receipt of the tickets.

Every person attending the match will be required to have their own mobile ticket on their own device, or a paper copy if supplied by England Rugby in this format. Anyone trying to use multiple mobile tickets on the same device will not be permitted to enter the Stadium. The only exceptions to this are for accompanied minors (those under the age of 18 where proof of age may be required) or for those people with accessibility requirements attending the match with a companion. This is essential to ensure that we can comply with NHS test and trace requirements, which demand the contact details of each person with a ticket attending the match.

Where you have a digital ticket for a match, please make sure you bring your mobile device with sufficient battery charge as you won’t be allowed entry into the Stadium without a valid digital ticket.

To book and/or access ticket(s) through the Twickenham Stadium app you and everyone that you book tickets for, or allocate/transfer tickets to, MUST provide contact details. We need you to do this to help us assist with NHS test and trace requirements where needed. For further information on how the RFU may use your contact details please see our Privacy Policy at www.englandrugby.com/about-rfu/rfu-policies/privacy-policy.

You MUST have a valid NHS COVID Pass to attend the match. If you do not you will be denied entry without compensation or refund or where you have entered the Stadium you will be asked to leave. Further details regarding the NHS COVID Pass will be provided as soon as it is available.

Please arrive in good time to go through all the necessary entry procedures.

Your temperature might be taken before entry.

It is possible that other restrictions or conditions may be introduced that apply to those attending a sporting event between the time that you buy your ticket(s) and the date of the match. Where additional restrictions or conditions are introduced we will provide you with as much advance notice as possible.

Travel

You should check www.englandrugby.com on the day of the match before travelling for updates on the fixture and any COVID-19 procedures that you are required to follow.

Other Requirements

Please follow good hygiene practices at all times in line with the latest government and public health guidance, including regularly washing your hands and using hand sanitiser.

Please be considerate of other people at all times and try to minimise unnecessary close contact with people you are not attending the match with.

We recommend wearing a cloth face covering at all times including when seated except when you are eating and drinking. This is also required when travelling to the match by public transport or in other crowded areas.

Please take care when shouting, singing or celebrating, taking into account the distance from those around you as these activities could increase the risk of spreading COVID-19.

If you feel ill or develop any COVID-19 symptoms while at the match please contact your nearest steward who will direct you to the appropriate medical facility.

Picnics and other gatherings in the carparks used for the match are strictly prohibited.

If you are attending the match with children, you are responsible for supervising them and ensuring that they comply with social distancing and this Code of Conduct at all times.

You MUST comply with all other relevant guidance and rules related to COVID-19 protection and social distancing, including those of the Government and public health authorities.

Updates

It may be necessary for us to make changes to this Code of Conduct, including at short notice, and you MUST comply with any changes that we make. Wherever possible, we will provide you with as much advance notice as possible of any changes by SMS, push notifications, email and/or on our website at www.englandrugby.com as appropriate.

All other terms and conditions and ground rules remain in force and must also be complied with.

Thank you for your support and co-operation. Stay alert! Stay safe! Help us all – your fellow fans, your team, your sport, your community!

By proceeding you confirm that you accept this Code of Conduct and that:

  1. you have read and agree to this code of conduct including any changes that we may need to make to it after you have purchased or received a ticket(s);
  2. that all other people the tickets are for have read and also agreed to this code of conduct.

Regards,

Stuart Montgomery

This Weekend 2nd and 3rd October….

 

This weekend we have:

Saturday 2nd October 

1st XV away to Maidenhead – 2.30pm kick off

 

Sunday 3rd October

Under 12s away to Cranbrook

Under 13s home to Sutton and Epsom – 11.30am kick off

Under 14s home to Canterbury – 11.30am kick off

Academy home to Cranbrook – 10.00am kick off

Ladies under 13s and under 15s home to Medway – 12.00pm kick off

Ladies under 18s away to Old Alleynians

 

Chaz Spence Joins TEK Group

The connection between key club sponsors TEK Group grew even stronger with the announcement that former 1XV Captain and current club coach, Chaz Spence, has joined the sales team at TEK.

“It’s great to have Chaz onboard” said Charlie Harding, BDM TEK Group. “We’ve known Chaz since his playing days at the club and his professional experience combined with the drive and commitment he’s shown at TWRFC makes him the perfect fit for TEK.”

“It’s great to part of the team at TEK” said Chaz, “2021 has been a big year TEK recently celebrating their 50th anniversary and I am really looking forward to helping the team drive the business forward towards achieving the next 50”

For more information on TEK Group products and services please go to www.tekseating.co.uk or www.sitstmart.co.uk

Autumn International Tickets

The RFU have indicated that Twickenham will be opening to full capacity (so long as licenses are granted by Borough of Richmond) and the Autumn internationals will go ahead as originally planned.

Schedule:

  • Saturday 6 November – England v Tonga – KO: 15:15                 
  • Saturday 13 November  – England v Australia – KO: 17:30 
  • Saturday 20 November – England v South Africa – KO: 15:15

To satisfy as many members as possible we will be keeping requests to a combined total of 2 tickets per member across the Australia and South Africa games (can be a single ticket for each). The Tonga game should not be a problem and no restrictions will apply.

Allocations will be on a ‘first come, first served’ basis and the club will work through the list once our ticket allocation is secured. Requests can only be accepted from ‘paid up’ members of the club – there will be a £5 admin charge per ticket on top of the prices detailed below.   

Ticket categories and prices:

Australia/South Africa

Premium £122 – 139

Cat 1 £112 – 125

Cat 2 £97 – 107

Cat 3 £79 – 87

Cat 4 £57 – 62

Tonga

Premium £67 – 77

Cat 1 £55 – 62

Cat 2 £49 – 55

Cat 3 £39 – 45

Cat 4 £32 – 37

Junior tickets are readily available for the Tonga game for all the Cat tickets for £22 each and we may be able to secure some for the Australia/South Africa games at £27.      

Please apply for tickets, stating the category, via email to Stuart Montgomery at: Montgos.89a@hotmail.com

21/22 Membership

The exec have set the membership fees for the 21/22 season at:

Senior Player£80
Family with single child£160
Family with multiple children (or senior player plus one child)£200
Social Member or VP£80
Concessions/Students£50
Senior Player match fee£10

These can be viewed in full, with notes and more details on the membership page (along with the links to sign-up for direct debit schemes for a vice-president or social member, any existing DDs just roll-over into 21/22)

Playing membership will be administered using Spond if you aren’t yet registered please join spond. For members already registered on Spond, you will receive a payment request in early July. Payment isn’t required until before the first session of next season, Sunday September 5th (or after 2-session trial for new joiners); but summer cash-flow is ever an issue so early payment is definitely appreciated.

With the exception of the two items called out below fees remained unchanged from the previous seasons. We felt this was the right thing to do; we are really proud of all that TWRFC delivered in adversity, but we also appreciate how much our members stood with us in what was a tough year. We have evaluated our costs against those of other local sports clubs, and feel this is a fair level that is still fantastic value for money, and will enable us to continue to invest in the improvement of the club for our members.

  1. We are now asking families with multiple playing children to pay slightly higher membership than those with only the one child. The exec have long felt that our current ‘one-size-fits-all’ youth membership structure has been slightly unfair to those with just the one child.
  2. We are simplifying the approach to match-fees as a straight £10/match-fee (in effect removing the notion of a cap). I will be monitoring the impact of this, and if it gets silly will look into it again. The rational for the change, comes out of sympathy for our poor team captains who would have to administer anything more complex, in the changing room, potentially wearing nothing but a towel.

Chairman’s Update: 3G – Alternative Grass Pitch

In my last update I mentioned that the club was planning for the future, looking at how we continue to develop and grow as a club. A key part of those plans includes looking at delivering a 3G Alternative Grass Pitch (AGP). Even with all the work done on improved drainage this year there is still demand for all year round playing space at St Marks now and in the future.

Whilst the club will benefit from access to an AGP we are keen that this development is part of us becoming a community sports hub. To that end we have been working closely with local schools, sports clubs and the council, as part of their sports field strategy, to develop  plans and supporting business case.

Given the intended location for the AGP is alongside our current 1XV pitch we are working very closely with TW Borderers Cricket Club on plans – which include the creation of a new cricket square on the land to the south of the 3rd XV pitch and the construction of a cricket pavilion adjacent to the current Sussex square. This will ensure no loss of playing space for the cricket club.

We are well progressed on pulling together all of the technical reports required for submission of a full planning application over the next few weeks. In addition to the AGP, the planning application will also include installation of hard standing in front of the clubhouse, new storage for equipment, cricket pavilion, new cricket wicket and extending and improving our onsite parking.

As part of the preparations for planning, the club held a Public Consultation evening for residents in the neighbourhood to talk them through the plans and take on their feedback ahead of making our application.

The full suite of plans will shortly be available to all members to view in the café. We would warmly welcome you to take time to have a look next time you’re in the café.

Whilst a lot of work has gone into getting the AGP project to this stage, we recognise that planning is just the first stage. Once we have planning, we then need to start fundraising for the actual build – we have some interesting plans in development and are looking at what grants we could apply to for funding. But, we will still need help from all our members to support fundraising, so please keep an eye out for more news on that front.

The fundraising stage of the AGP project will also need a lot more support to deliver so if you are interested in helping please contact Steve Daly in the first instance on 07825 286 813.

If you have any questions about the proposed plan please send them to secretary@twrfc.com and we will come back to you.

#oneTWRFC

Proposed Plan
Proposed paving improvements and equipment store
Proposed equipment store – front elevation
Proposed improvements to existing parking
Proposed extended parking
Proposed Cricket Pavilion

Chairman’s Message – Volunteers Needed

As we approach the end of one, very challenging, season and prepare for the next one there are a number of volunteer posts that we would like to fill ahead of the season starting.

Some have opened up as current long standing volunteers are standing down, and we thank them for their support over the years, but many are driven by the clubs desire to be better, improve our proposition and appear even more professional.

In addition there some project specific roles to help support key projects the club is embarking on.

Have a look at the details below  – feel free to contact the leads noted against each role if you want have a chat about the role or how you could help.

Fixtures Secretary Senior Squads (Contact: Mike Rigby 07793 458 856)

Purpose: To take responsibility for organizing league, cup and friendly matches for all of the adult teams at the club and ensuring the fixtures provide the right standard of rugby, reflecting the needs of your club.

 Key aspects of the role:

1. Coordination of fixtures propose a fixture list for all teams, reflecting the ambitions of the club, confirming the list in writing by June of each season. Coordination of a group of volunteers to arrange manage fixtures, if applicable.

2. Ensure information is distributed to relevant parties Ensure that the relevant lists are supplied to the RFU, Referees Societies and other relevant agencies, confirming the fixtures with opponents at least two weeks before the game and that they are provided with kick-off times, directions to the ground and, if applicable, complimentary match tickets.

3. Dealing with any unexpected problems that arise Deal with match cancellations and finding new fixtures; handle any fixture queries throughout the season.

Is this role for you? If you are enthusiastic, patient, well organized and conscientious, with a familiarity with the club and its vision and strong communication skills, you could be the source of all knowledge about upcoming matches, keeping the season alive and on schedule.

Events Manager (Contact: Nick Van O’  07977 577 906)

Purpose: To ensure that all events, such as those to provide additional investment, motivate people to attend and/or reward volunteers, are successes in order to ensure the future well-being of the club.

This role is split across two areas:

Part 1 – Is the social side of the club – Helping co-ordinate our fundraisers and working with existing volunteers to bring a full calendar together

Part 2 – Is the commercial side – Working with local businesses who hire our pitches and club house to ensure they are well looked after and this valuable income stream grows

Key aspects of the role:

1. Lead the organisation of all events Plan, organize and lead a team to deliver major events, e.g. Summer Balls, Sportsmen’s Dinners, Tournaments, Beer Festivals, etc.

2. Work with other officers to set targets In consultation with other club officers, set targets for each event in terms of increased participation, funds raised, rewarding volunteers or simply having more fun.

3. Maintain a calendar Put in place a calendar of events to maintain momentum and awareness throughout the club.

Is this role for you?

If you are motivated, well-organised and well-connected, excellent at inspiring others with experience in event planning and understand and are aware of other competing activities, you could hold a position that is instrumental for keeping the club running.

Equipment Manager (Contact: Mike Rigby 07793 458 856)

Purpose: To ensure the club maintains a consistent identity across the club and ensure that appropriate kit and equipment is available for all teams. This helps set the tone for the club and our ability to function on the pitch.

Key aspects of the role:

1. Arrange and buy all equipment for the club subject to agreed budgets and need.

2. Keep an up-to-date list of all club kit and equipment.

3. Responsible for storing, arranging washing and repairing maintenance of all kit and equipment.

 Is this role for you?

If you are familiar with the culture of the club, enthusiastic and well-organised (and the owner of a washing machine!) you could hold a position that is truly essential to the club

Assistant Clubhouse manager (Contact: Nick Van O’ 07977 577 906)

Purpose: To help ensure the effective running of the Club House café. The Café is a key part of the club in-terms of offering quality service to members and visitors but also a key revenue stream.

Key aspects of the role:

1. Operate the café with optimum stock levels managing costs and wastage 

2. Work with staff and volunteers to ensure the café is effectively staffed

3. Ensure Café runs within required licencing and food safety standards

Is this the role for you?

If you are well organised, maybe have some hospitality industry experience, and want to help run one of the key parts of the club let Nick know.

Webmaster (Contact: Mike Rigby 07793 458 856)

Purpose:  To create and maintain a dynamic and easy to navigate website to showcase the club, ensuring that up-to-date information is presented attractively for visitors.

Key aspects of the role:

1. Lead on website creation and maintenance Create/update the website and design a navigation structure for players, opposition, coaches, volunteers, spectators, members, sponsors, media and other stakeholders, ensuring that there are regular updates to the news stories on the front page of the site (work with the Social Media Officer to share these articles) and the fixtures and results section.

2. Act as a point of contact for website content Liaise with the Communications and PR Manager and the club committee to publicise club events on the site and ensure the site complies with the code of conduct and reflects the values of the game.

3. Maintain the commercial side of the website Promoting sponsors, where applicable, and managing any e-business transactions that occur on the website.

Is this role for you?

 If you have good IT skills and a working knowledge of website creation and design, sound judgement and a strong attention to detail, you could hold a position where you will have the chance to be creative and put your web design and journalistic skills into practice for the betterment of the club.

Alternative Grass Pitch Project (Contact Steve Daly 07825 286 813)

In my most recent Chairman’s Update I mentioned the club was embarking on a strategic project to deliver improved facilities with the main deliverable being an alternative grass pitch (aka 3G). We are looking for a number of volunteers to help drive this key project. If any of the roles below are of interest please contact Steve.

Fundraising:

1. Organise and administer our fundraising efforts

2. Design, create and deliver a fundraising event

Design:

1. Help design branding/style for the project

2. Design marketing collateral

Organisation Design:

1. Help with designing target operating model required to support the club going forward

2. Support implementing the agreed operating model

Grants:

1. Support identifying opportunities for grants to support funding the project

2. Initial submissions and management of applications through the grant processes. 

Chairman’s Update

Members and friends of TWRFC,

As we have recently seen a return to rugby and sport at St Marks I thought it timely to provide an update on the club. 

Pleasing as it is to see the latest lockdown conclude and rugby resume, there is no doubt that the pandemic has touched every single one of us. Many of you have personally caught the virus, most know someone who has been significantly impacted by the virus and all of us will have felt some negative impact. Unfortunately some club members and friends of the club have paid the ultimate sacrifice and our condolences are with all their families.

 Whilst we have had little actual rugby to enjoy this year, the Board has remained focused on the Club with perhaps a greater focus on the future of the club. Our thoughts have turned to our ambitions for the club over the next 10 years and what we would like the club to look and feel like in our centenary year (2031). Whilst 10 years seems like an age away, this is the horizon we look to when we assess our broader development plans. Also, as we know time flies when you are having fun, it was only 10 years ago that I made my vets debut……..or maybe slightly longer. 

So, let me take you on a quick trip through the club and give you an update:
The Senior Section: 

We have three very divergent parts of our Senior club: The Elite squad; The Social side; and of course the Vets. But this year they have been united in playing no fixtures! There is of course a clear divergence in one matter: Training. The Elite squad have trained hard and benefitted from our fantastic coaching team…..The Vets have not trained for rugby at all but have made several videos that have entertained tremendously through lockdown. The social sides are in a happy place in the middle.

The Elite squad has recently resumed training and in fact recently enjoyed a friendly game of touch with TJ’s. They will shortly break for the summer before returning early for pre-season training. We have a couple of pre-season friendlies lined up and are very optimistic of a full season of competitive rugby. Most will now be aware that we have been joined at training by Ben Kayser who has given a real added dimension to forwards training. I also recently advised that Simon has departed to pursue new opportunities, Stuart and Dave are busy establishing our new structure for the new season. We have also started the drive to build a squad for next season and please do spread the word of our club, its ambition and culture. Thanks to all our senior coaches and players. We can’t wait to see you back in action next year.

It’s good to be back – Elite Squad training

The Youth section:

This year has been extremely different for our youth section. No fixtures, no festivals, large periods of no physical training and lots of online activities organised to help our members through lockdown. In case you have not heard, as he has told just about everyone he has met, Tommo has successfully managed to take our Under 6 age group (years reception and one) to 150 members. This is just outstanding and demonstrates the strong local demand for getting kids active. It also shows the tremendous role we provide to our community. We now have over 730 youth members and it has been great to see so many of them back at St Marks recently.

The reason for the success of our youth section is very clear: The incredible volunteer coaches that support every single age group. These ladies and men get qualified, plan sessions, complete endless admin, prepare kit, turn up bright faced and deliver an exceptional experience for our members week in week out. Thank you.

Thank you one and all you are keeping the future of TWRFC very much alive and growing. Thanks to Laurence, Martin and Alex for Chairing the Youth and the Mini’s.

Just a few of our 150 U6 players!

The Academy: 

Following the return to play the Academy also returned raring to go but with a minimum period before we could taken on opposition in competitive games we had a lot to do to get ourselves ready.

But with the hope of games before we close down again for the summer numbers and energy at training has been fantastic. Linking up with the U15’s, who will be formally coming into the Academy set up next September, we have had some really productive sessions.

It is so encouraging to see how keen the boys are to be back and play this great sport. We are still building but clearly the fundamental foundations from which we build are stronger than ever.

Huge thanks to our first team players who are helping out and doing a brilliant job, Max Douch and Matt Spicer. Big thanks to Andy and all the academy coaches.

The Ladies section: 

Despite the lockdown the U11’s, U13’s and U15’s have all grown with new players keen to enjoy social sport. This has made the Wednesday and Sunday sessions busy and a lot of fun. The noise is tremendous to hear across St Marks.

The Over 18’s (Adults!) with new members are growing and this is all before our inner warrior session on the 9th May. The squad are enjoying getting back to sport, improving the fitness and core skills. They are also enjoying playing the new RFU adapted touch game.

As the end of season beckons the ladies section also has the Rachel Buford camp to look forward to on the 31st May. Should be a fun end to the season.

Well done Simon and all the Coaches. But also well done to all the players, you have a real sense of community and are the fastest growing section of the club.

Ladies O18 Squad showing their Inner Warriors

So lastly to the running of the club and the area we have spent time on during lock down.

The Commercial team

I would like to thank all our sponsors for their unwavering support this year. Every single one of them continued their support for our great Community club. They have helped us keep going, engage with our members and continue to invest in the fabric of the club. We also have doubled our efforts to give as much social media coverage for their support as possible. I hope to welcome them back up to the club soon to personally thank them.

We are under no illusion the ability to get new sponsors next year will be harder and hence if you are able to help support Simon Hughes and Andre Van Zijl it would be most welcomed.

The Operations: 

Membership: Has been a huge success this year as we transitioned to SPOND. No doubt this has helped us perform track and trace as well as tracking membership fees. A record year for membership collection. Thank you for your support of your club. 

Covid-19 Policies: Who would have thought we would celebrate our ability to react to the relevant Government and RFU CV-19 guidelines. But we have trained at every opportunity because we have adjusted our approach to stay safe. Thanks to all involved in keeping us legal/safe and training. 

Pitches: Well this is the first year we haven’t cancelled training for the weather!! Mainly because we haven’t been up the club in Dec/Jan/Feb. We have invested though and they are looking good.

Clubhouse: The cafe trades on (for takeaways) and the decking is a great place to carry your produce over. Hopefully these will both come into their own over the summer.

The Future of the Club: 

You will all have seen our recent posts on how we wish to focus our attentions on future ground improvements. We have started to progress plans in this regard with brand new drainage systems going into pitches two and three. We are also progressing our thoughts for an alternative grass pitch and will provide a further update within the next two months. The latter has a thirst for volunteers and so please do let myself or Steve Daly know if you can spare a few moments to help us plan for 2031. 

So in summary:

–          Not the year any of us wanted, but we have kept on performing our valuable role in our community.

–          We have a growing youth and ladies section

–          We have a successful academy

–          We are ever closer to our #oneTWRFC ambition

–          The number of volunteers are growing but we do need more!

–          We are financially stable and operationally organised

–          We have direction and purpose for the future of St Marks.

Thank you to all our many volunteers and to everyone who keeps TWRFC at the heart of our Community.

COYW

Mike

Club Chairman

#oneTWRFC