Category: Ladies

Chairman’s New Year Message

As 2020 has drawn to a close and we start the new year I thought it timely to provide a little update on TWRFC.

It has been a challenging year for the club with virtually no senior rugby to talk of and an interrupted and rather constrained Colts/Youth/Ladies/Mini’s rugby. Despite the adversity I’m pleased to share that TWRFC is thriving.

One of our key purposes at TWRFC is to be a centre of sporting excellence in Tunbridge Wells for all players at whatever level they are able to compete, our ability to do this has been heavily constrained throughout 2020 by both the Government and RFU guidelines. During this year our focus has inevitably shifted to maintaining a Covid-safe environment for our members, retaining our strong club-community and safeguarding the financial future of the club through these difficult times.

In-spite of the challenging environment, we have kept the Youth/Ladies/Mini’s active at times when they have really needed it. I would like to recognise and thank all the coaches and volunteers who have worked so hard to deliver the maximum programme of rugby permitted within the constraints. Whilst I’m sure all of us in the rugby community had appetite for more, it was still great to be able to offer the rugby we did, and the positive feedback and support we received across the club was much appreciated. I’d also like to thank Martin for keeping us on the straight and narrow as regards the ever-changing and indecipherable Covid requirements. To call out a few highlights from the youth section:

  • We have record numbers of family/youth members (over 650 youth players)
  • Out U6’s hit a new record for membership, breaking through the 125 mark for an age group
  • The Ladies numbers have risen yet again with all teams playing great rugby and enjoying the game.  It’s particularly pleasing to see the advent of the Under 11s section which looks set to improve the pipeline of players into the older Ladies age-groups.
  • The Academy are back to full strength and challenging at the right levels. Even making a final… that was never played!
  • We also got the Kiwi camp away which gave lots of kids a fantastic outlet in the summer.

Prior to the pandemic, the first XV played some fantastic exciting attacking rugby resulting in a healthy (above Sevenoaks) finish to the 2019/20 season. They have established themselves fully in L&SE premier and I know they are now keen to push on and challenge themselves for promotion. Looking forward, Simon Whatling has been joined by Dave Marshall as our new DoR and Ben Kayser as our new forward’s coach. We have the best coaching team in the area and these guys should be a magnet to new members. Not sure Ben will thank me for the photo I used!  We don’t really know what the rest of the season holds, hopefully the first XV will take part in a friendly local tournament with teams like Sevenoaks, Westcombe Park, Dorking etc. Which would be an excellent opportunity to get behind your club and enjoy a celebratory atmosphere.  I am optimistic that the rest of our senior rugby and academy will ‘hopefully’ get going soon and get some rugby under their (ever growing) belts.

Ben Kayser – our new Forwards Coach

Importantly we have also kept a very keen eye on our finances. Our income has been severely impacted by the pandemic: Many of our sponsors are themselves under pressure, and I’d very much like to thank those who continue to support the club in these difficult times, Inevitably a few were unable to continue to support the club to the extent they had done previously. We also had to cancel all our usual fun (and fundraising) events; and have seen the bar sales reduced to nil. Typically, sponsorship, bar and events would account for roughly 2/3rds of our revenue. We have sought to replace as much of the lost revenue as we could, though new sources (puppy clubs, fitness clubs, school rentals etc. even a football academy), maximising the revenue opportunities afforded by the café (Thanks to Martha and crew). We were also able to secure a couple of grants and take advantage of VAT reduction and deferment schemes.  We have managed to significantly reduce our costs. Expenditure has been watched by everybody like a hawk to ensure we are as lean as possible.

Typically, membership subscriptions account for the remaining ~third of our revenue. This season we encouraged membership to be paid early and in full where possible, and helped by the switch to Spond, 65% of membership subscriptions were paid prior to the start of the season. There are still a small number of members who could help us here…. We have been overwhelmed by people’s generosity in donating funds from cancelled tours, cancelled youth balls and supporting the club in many other ways. Thank you everyone, for working hard to achieve the above. I am delighted to say despite the unusual circumstances we are in good financial health and have clear visibility of cash to see us through to next season. Special thanks as always to Don Bailey for taking on the extra work requires to afford us month-to-month forecasting.

Off the pitch, we have secured new volunteers who are doing ever broader roles for the club. Our press and marketing group in particular has grown fantastically. Thank you for some amazing articles, great coverage, good sponsor interaction and of course those fun videos. Our members also engaged in helping the locally community, and collectively raised £6,000 for Nourish and Hospice in the Weald, through the 6-nations challenge; and the U13s race between kids/parents to Rome.

Looking towards St. Mark – during 2020 we invested in the clubhouse and grounds: new PA system outside, new sound system inside, new Café, new decking and gazebo (see photo). We have kept up progress of our 3G planning application (thanks to Richard Bains). The club is progressing our development plans and with our planning consultation back (and positive) we have created a new Development committee under the leadership of Steve Daly to progress our ambitions here. If you have time to help, then do let Steve know (

Moving into 2021, all sections will continue to deliver as much rugby as the Government and RFU allow us to. We know how important this is and we can’t wait to get some fixtures delivered too. As soon as circumstances permit; we also hope to be able to gather our membership and enable some very much needed and valued social interaction. Can’t wait to get that club room open when it is safe to do so, and enjoy a pint with friends. 

And with that thought of a pint with friends I wish you all a Happy New Year. Let it bring health, happiness and lots of rugby!



Clean Sweep Marks Wells Ladies Return to Action

Sunday 17th saw the first competitive run out for TWRFC Ladies U18 squad since Covid-19 ended the 2019/20 season back in April.

The squad travelled to Medway RFC to play the RFU Covid approved format Ready 4 Rugby based on Touch Rugby that offers fast moving, competitive non-contact games.

“We continued to train, in line with RFU and Kent RFU guidelines, at the club but all the players were really looking forward to some competitive rugby” said Paul Miles Head Coach. “Of course we’d all like to be playing full contact games but the RFU have worked hard to define guidelines that mean players can get out on the pitch but also help keep us all Covid safe”

The afternoon took the format of a round-robin of ten aside with time built in at half time and between games to sanitise the ball. The Wells ended the day with a clean sweep winning all four of their games.

“It was a great result for the squad” continued Paul “It took a little while to blow the cobwebs away with some early handling errors but their confidence grew through the afternoon and they started building some excellent passages of play. There’s still room for improvement and we will work on that over the coming weeks. But, the great thing was to see the whole squad out there enjoying competitive rugby again”

In other news TWRFC Ladies continue to develop with training sessions now available for over 18’s “Developing a Senior Squad is a key part of the development strategy for the Ladies Section” said Simon Parsons, Director if Ladies Rugby “We already have a number of players training and run regular try out sessions at St Marks on Sundays”

End of game handshakes have been replaced with a new ritual

What to expect on Sunday

We are delighted that the youth and ladies sections return to St Mark’s on Sunday – as you might expect there are some changes from previous years. The club’s COVID guidelines along with links to other resources can be found here.

Before Training


All attendees to training are required to register on Spond, and accept the ‘event’ prior to attending. Please do not just turn-up without having first accepted the event in Spond. We recommend you download and install the Spond smart-phone app.

Spond will form the basis of the the clubs attendance records and be shared with Track and Trace if requested.


Prior to attending training and matches, all players, officials, volunteers and spectators should undergo a self-assessment for any Covid-19 symptoms.

No-one should leave home to participate in any type of rugby activity if they, or someone they live with has any of the following Covid-19 symptoms:

  • A high temperature
  • A new, continuous cough
  • A loss of, or change to, their sense of smell or taste

No-one should leave home to participate in any type of rugby activity if they, have been advised by NHS Track and Trace to self-isolate or has recently returned from a location for which quarantine is required.

Arrival & Parking

  • Sessions have been staggered to allow us to operate each age group within the prescribed guidelines. Please aim to arrive at the pitch no more than 10 minutes before your session time; and depart the pitch-area swiftly thereafter as we need to recycle the pitches.
  • Pitch allocations are on the site as usual
  • Parking at the clubhouse is limited (although we’ll try and accommodate as many cars as possible). The top car-park (nearest clubhouse) is reserved for coaches carrying kit; we will be operating a drop-off through the main-carpark. Please park considerately for our neighbours.
  • Please try to limit the number of adults onsite to one/child. When deciding who’s turn it is, then we’d suggest whichever parent is most likely to spend money in the Cafe is the best choice.
  • Where possible follow the government’s safer travel guidelines.

What to Bring

All members are asked to arrive at the club changed and ready to play. The use of any changing rooms or showers is not permitted.

In addition to all the usual items, layers, sun-screen, money to spend in the cafe. Please also make sure your child has:

  • Their own Hand Sanitiser
  • Gum-shield (for U9s and above)
  • Their own water bottle
  • A face-mask (if you want to use the cafe).

Gumshields and Kit


TWRFC Kit is available online from Akuma (password TWRFC).

Akuma are sending me some sizing samples, which will be available to view on the decking outside the Cafe; along with those items of residual items of stock we still have in the club-shop.

Socks and face-masks are available to purchase from the cafe.


Opro will not be visiting St Mark’s this season, they feel the risk of transmission of COVID-19 from player to dentist and/or dentist to player is too high to be acceptable. As an alternative they are sending out Home Impression Kits.

Parents just need to place their orders over on our website; and a HIK will be sent directly to their home address.

Boots & Studs

If purchasing new boots please make sure they comply with World Rugby Regulation 12 – the RFU’s guides on boots and clothing can be found here:

The Clubhouse, Cafe and Bar

The café will be open and we are delighted to be able to keep you supplied with Teas/Coffees/Hot Chocolate, Martha’s fabulous Bacon/Sausage baps and all the other products we sell form the café.

Unfortunately, upstairs will continue to be off limits for the time being. Downstairs will be open for the use of toilets only and to facilitate the use of the café.

 All members are asked to arrive at the club changed and ready to play. The use of any changing rooms or showers is not permitted.

There are a few rules we need to you to be aware of/comply with when using the Clubhouse and Café :  –

  1. There are hand sanitising dispensers at every entrance. Please use them as you enter the building and observe social distancing when inside
  2. Please do not use the front entrance, even if it is open. Upstairs is off limits for the time being
  3. Please enter the Café via the exterior door and exit down the corridor and out of the glass door. If someone is coming in that way (to use the toilets) please use best judgement to observe social distancing guidelines
  4. No more than one family group in the Café at one time (up to a maximum of three people)
  5. Please wear a face mask
  6. Stand back from the countertop and don’t lean on it. (there is tape on the floor to guide distancing)
  7. Café staff will ask for your name and which age group you are with to comply with track and trace
  8. Queues are likely given the longer time needed to serve people while complying with the guidelines. Please move through the Café as quickly as possible
  9. Use the glass door (facing the pitch) to enter the clubhouse for the toilets but please be aware of point no.2 ..i.e. people coming out of the building from the café.
  10. The deck is open but please observe social distancing guidelines
  11. Bins will be provided for cups etc. Please do not use the dog bin by the gate

If a queue develops for the café could parents please form the queue as per the screen shot below. (the deck doesn’t show obviously)

Next to the cafe we have a new decked area. Although there are a few finishing touches left to do you are welcome to use it, just please observe the current distancing rules & please try not to drop tomato sauce on our lovely new decking.

Weather permitting we will displaying clothing from our new kit supplier Akuma on the new deck. There will also a chance to purchase surplus stock at very reasonable prices.    

Inside the clubhouse you will notice there is new artwork on several of the main corridor walls. We hope you like it!

The Session

Sessions will follow the (constantly changing) RFU and Government guidance. Currently we are at stage D of the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap. The club’s COVID guidelines along with links to other resources can be found here.

Key differences being:

  • Sessions will be conducted in groups of no more than 20, larger groups will be split and will not mix. This is one of the reasons we ask you to pre-register in Spond.
  • Equipment will be cleansed on a regular basis (ball – every 15 minutes, other items – between each use). Players will be asked to sanitize their hands every 15 minutes.
  • Session time is limited to 60 minutes for Under 7 & Under 8 and 75 minutes for Under 9 and above. Contact time (for U9s and above) is limited to 15 minutes/session and will happen in smaller groups.
  • Parents are welcome to watch the session (for Mini’s we ask that you do – so you are available to assist your child if they require it); but are asked to maintain social distancing whilst doing so.
Alan Skinner

President’s update

The challenges presented by the Coronavirus restrictions are certainly the biggest faced by us in my over 50 year association with the Club. In fact one would probably have to go back to the Second World War when the Club closed for 6 years, to find anything equivalent. We bounced back from that and I have every confidence that we will come through the current difficulties stronger and with a renewed relish for our Game.

I am encouraged to see that training has restarted at all levels with the young in particular getting some much needed physical exercise after being in lockdown for so long. It’s also about getting out to meet old friends again because Rugby is very much a game  where lasting friendships are forged; I still have friends in the Club I played rugby with at School. It will be that spirit and a shared purpose that will see the Club through these difficult times and on to a brighter future.

Club spirit is in the right place and the Board is very active in managing the current situation and putting plans in place for the future. I am confident that all will work out well.

On a domestic note I have appointed 5 new Vice Presidents in a deserved recognition of their services to the Club over many years. Tim Collins, Bruce Elliott, Martin Slattery, Brian Whiting and Matt Wilkey will be joining the VP ranks from the beginning of the season, and I look forward to the return of normality when I will be able to welcome them properly.
So, stay confident about the future and please take every opportunity to involve yourself in Club activities even if it’s only coming up for a social beer on the new decking.

Alan Skinner
Club President

Chairman’s update

Dear Members and Friends of TWRFC,

I hope you are well, healthy and safe. We have all had a fairly challenging past few months which has tested all of us in many new ways. It was certainly nice to see the minis and youth age groups back at St Mark’s as the restrictions eased. It is equally good to see the senior and Ladies sections back training this month too. I think we have all enjoyed a small step back to normality.

We are very busy and excited about the return to rugby at the beginning of September. We have been busy preparing the club to be compliant with both the Government and RFU guidelines to ensure we have a safe return. If you have been to a shop or restaurant recently you will all be familiar with the look and feel at the club: Lots of hand sanitisers, lots of one way signs etc. But we are ready and can’t wait to get back.

Over the summer it has been great to see St Mark’s being used by our community. In addition to most of our Mini and Youth age  groups training we have welcomed: Rugby Tots; The Mead School, ??? Puppy training, First Class Football a running club and of course our friends at Borderers Cricket club to St Marks. Of course this is in addition to the endless runners, dog walkers, fitness enthusiasts and walkers. In fact this week we have the ground let out to the Kiwi Experience sports camp with lots of kids having a great time. So in short it has been thriving and vibrant as well as of huge value to our Community.

We have also been busy investing. Early on in the summer we had some volunteers strimming and chopping to keep our perimeter tidy. We have seen some fantastic art work go up on the ground floor to make the Club a little brighter (kindly paid for by Countryside Homes). We have also expanded the decking in front of the clubhouse to make a nice place to eat or drink your delights from the Café. We have also seen investment into the pitches, with lots of slitting, sanding, seeding and hole filling. Trying to ensure we have the pitches as prepared as we can for the new season.

We have also progressed our investment and expansion plans. More news will follow on this soon but we are making progress.

As for the club more operationally. We have budgeted for this year, we have sensitised the budget for this year and we have scenario planned for this year. We are financially strong enough to trade through all such scenarios but will be launching our annual membership renewal soon to help us.

As I ended last night’s Board meeting I said:

  • We have a mini/youth section that is growing in numbers (600+) and is offering an ever improving experience
  • We have an academy that ended last year with strength and depth as well as qualifying for a Kent cup final.
  • We have a ladies section that is going from strength to strength with over a 100 members as well as growing senior members
  • We have a senior section that had a really strong finish last season, has a great team spirit. They have carried good numbers into pre-season training with some new faces. The Vets and social members are very welcome but I suspect will appear a little later!
  • We are financially safe and operationally compliant

We are in good shape and I thanked the Board and all our volunteers for putting the club in this position.

We do however have lots to work on still:

  • We strive to diversify our revenues further and particularly over the summer
  • We want to continue the progress on delivering an all-weather pitch as well as better grass pitches.
  • We want to deepen our value to the Community and ensure more people enjoy the beauty of St Marks
  • We want to broaden our Commercial partners to allow even more investment into the facilities we all enjoy
  • We want to attract more social members to play rugby, socialise and enjoy our club

If you can help us achieve any of the above then please do let me or any member of the Board know.

I look forward to welcoming you back up the club soon and hopefully to enjoy some competitive rugby (when we are allowed!)



Laurence Taylor

Youth Section Update

TWRFC Youth Section are confident that we will bring rugby back in the first weekend of September which is the traditional start of the rugby season. Last year was challenging to say the least so we are really excited that we have measures in place to get the season started, regardless of any restrictions that remain in place. This year, as soon as we were allowed, we had age groups back at the club training using innovative ways of maintaining social distancing whilst enhancing rugby skills and fitness. Watching kids playing touch with one metre pipe lagging was something I never expected to see!

We are now working hard with the coaching teams from the U6’s through to our Academy to look at different ways of delivering training, how we will use our space and how we will make TWRFC a Covid secure environment. We have secured further space at the club to expand the already enormous facilities we have and have set up a full season of fixtures for the youth age groups working on the mantra that a positive outlook will bring good luck! We have sanitising points throughout the club and when you come back you will see that much work has taken place over the summer to make the clubhouse look fantastic as ‘Fortress St Marks’ We have a new cafe so you can get coffee and hot food on Sunday mornings and generally the club is in a really good place.

As you can imagine, Covid has hit the club hard so I am hopeful that we will see many people renewing their membership early on as the cash flow assist us in investing further in playing and facilities at the club. We have a really thriving youth section. Last season we had over 100 kids in our U6’s (Year 1 and Reception age) and overall had over 600 young people training or competing on Sunday’s. Lets continue that this season despite any challenges and, lets face, it can’t be harder than last year.

I can’t wait to see you back at the club in September and in the meantime if anybody has any thoughts on how we can take the youth section forward or if you would like to volunteer to help out then please let me know.
See you in September and #COYW!

Youth Chairman

Six Nations Lockdown Challenge – Launch

We started wanting to do the Home Nations – 877 miles but with all the miles pledged we are going to all of the Six Nations stadia 2451 miles.

As players, from U6 to Vets, and parents embark on their virtual journey across six countries we need to convert those miles to donations for Hospice in the Weald – donations can be made at our Just Giving page,

For Hospice in the Weald, like many other charities, the lockdown has meant that vital sources of funding have stopped with shops closed and fundraising events cancelled for the foreseeable future.

Hospice in the Weald has been further impacted by increased demand to support patients but also to do so under strict Covid-19 controls requiring PPE. Like all Hospices, Hospice in the Weald is not part of the NHS and although they do get a small amount of funding from the government the vast majority of the running costs are funded from charitable donations.

With the impact of increased demand, increased costs and reduced donations the club are embarking on this challenge to help Hospice in the Weald as they work on the front line of the pandemic giving patients a dignified death and supporting their wider families.



Home Nations Lockdown Challenge

As we move towards the sixth week of lockdown, TWRFC wanted to something as a club to support a local charity close to many hearts, Hospice in the Weald. Like many other charities, the lockdown has meant that vital sources of funding have stopped with shops closed and fundraising events cancelled for the foreseeable future.

Hospice in the Weald is also dealing with increased demand to support patients but also to do so under strict Covid-19 controls requiring PPE. Like all Hospices, Hospice in the Weald is not part of the NHS and although they do get a small amount of funding from the government the vast majority of the running costs are funded from charitable donations.

With the impact of increased demand, increased costs and reduced donations the club wanted to help Hospice in the Weald as they work on the front line of the pandemic giving patients a dignified death and supporting their wider families.

To do this we are throwing down the “Home Nations Lockdown Challenge”. The aim is to walk, run or cycle the equivalent of driving from our St Marks Clubhouse to “virtually” visit all four home nations stadiums – that’s 877 miles.

Volunteers will be asked to start their miles from Friday 8th May and encourage friends and family to sponsor them via our Just Giving page:

To help the competition along we will be tracking the number of miles each age group/squad do – so sign up and see if you can get your team to the top of the league. Please don’t forget that if you are covering your miles outside, to only do so with members of your own household within the recommended time within lockdown restrictions.

Anyone who wants to volunteer should send the following details to Drew Raine at

  1. Name
  2. Age
  3. Age Group/Squad
  4. Mode: Walk, Run or Cycle
  5. Target miles you are setting yourself (this will help us see how close to the 877 target we are getting)

Sign up now and get ready for Friday 8th May


Chairman’s update

Members and friends of TWRFC,

I thought it timely to provide an update on the club and the progress made this year. It’s a long update because we are a big and active club!

However, let me start by saying the world is presently gripped in a fight against Covid-19 which has had a significant impact on everyone’s lives. It puts many aspects of our lives into perspective and raises levels of appreciation for things we take for granted. We are truly in unprecedented times.

The Board have remained focused on the Club throughout the year, both its day to day operations and of course the longer-term future of the club. Below is a detailed update on all parts of the club before I look to the future:

The Youth section: Another very successful year for the Youth section with record membership numbers (621) and a great spirit across all the age groups. Some notable highlights: A very successful Mini’s festival held; Beamo (Under 6 Head Coach and present senior player) gets up and running with a huge 105 players in his U6’s age group;  First team player Ben Whale takes on Head Coach role of Under 14’s (#oneTWRFC), Despite the weather we KEPT training with new 3G locations sourced; Age groups keep the spirit alive in lockdown with remote sessions and fun videos.

To all the players: We are sorry the season ended prematurely but keep active, keep wearing the clubs colours with pride, we will be back before you know it!

The Thank-you’s are endless here, we have over 100 volunteers in this section (from coaches to DBS to Fixtures, parent helpers, to Refs etc etc). Thank-you one and all you are keeping the future of TWRFC very much alive and growing. Thanks to Laurence and Alex for Chairing the Youth and the Minis.

The Academy: As we started the season we had high hopes for the Academy and wanted to revamp it. It would be fair to say the revamp had a tricky start but ended on a real high.

Andy Child has taken on the lead role here and led the squad to stats of Played 7, WON 7 the last one taking them to a Kent Cup Final. It was also great to see Tui, Agy and Max Douch (First team players) playing such an active part in the training and supporting on match days (#oneTWRFC). Our DoR was also very active in supporting this success demonstrating his breadth of role. Well done to all the players, you are the future of the senior section and we look forward to seeing you at training soon.

Some good news for next year, we have a new sponsor for the Academy who is keen we invest further in this important transition into senior rugby.

Thank you to Andy and all the coaches, Jim, Tui and Agy.

The Ladies section: We are really keen to grow the ladies section and make sure TWRFC is the ‘Go-To’ club for ladies’ rugby. We have challenged Simon and the team to grow our Ladies membership and confirmed we are happy to invest to get that growth. So, to the successes: U18’s equalled last year’s national cup run and came 2nd in the County league; U15’s saw numbers grow and got on a good winning streak; U13’s won the county plate against stiff competition; U11 team created to expand the section; and membership numbers rise to 80.

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.

The Senior Section: We have three very divergent parts of our Senior club: The Elite squad; The Social side; and of course the Vets.

The Elite squad has clearly had a good season, with a very honourable 6th position in the league. We were light upfront all season but Simon and Aston got the team working really well together and ground out some fantastic results. There was as-ever the odd game that slipped away from us but ‘The Wells’ way of playing was exhilarating to watch: Strong defence, well organised team structure and hugely exciting with ball in hand. Well done guys a fantastic effort and a pleasure to watch.

The second XV struggled this year for players, fixtures and results and is an area of focus for us. Also on that list of focus areas are player-retention and player-recruitment.

The Social side under the leadership of Andy Cunningham has operated well all season winning half their games. The number of players representing the 3rd XV was north of 50 which shows the depth of squad at this level. If everyone wanted to play every week we’d have a 4th XV back before you knew it!!

The Vets…….shall be remembered this year for their activities off the pitch! The lockdown videos have been amazing. Thank-you to Tommo and Tom for your hard work they have kept the spirit of the club alive in these hard times. Awesome.

Thanks to all those that pulled on the Blue and White shirts this year, thanks to Jim Scully and the coaching team, the Captains, the organisers, the helpers, the ref liaison/refs, the caterers, the bar staff etc etc and thank you to the one and only Lino. Thanks to Stu Montgomery for leading this area for the Board.

So lastly to the running of the club and the area I have focussed a lot of my time and effort upon to get us financially and structually on an even keel.

The Commercial team: All major sponsors are now contracted and most on multi-year agreements. They are regularly engaged with to ensure they feel part of our club. We have two new ‘tier 1’ sponsors for next year on multi-year contracts which help build our diversity of revenues. We are under no illusion that our ability to get new sponsors next year will be harder. Thanks to Simon Hughes, Steve Webb and Andre Van Zijl

The Events: After a hugely successful summer ball at the High Rocks we have lost our last two fundraising events to Covid-19. The Youth Ball is postponed to early October and the Player’s end of season dinner will now be delivered virtually. We also lost our VP’s lunch at the Spa. We did however have a hugely enjoyable ‘Brave the Shave’ event run by the Senior section with lots of monies raised for an incredibly worthy cause. Thanks to Sarah Raine, Fran, Michelle and many many others.

The Operations: As mentioned most sponsors are now contracted, all our 1st team players were contracted, our major supplies are actively managed with terms renegotiated, and we are doing some work to tidy up our Board structure. Martin Croker, Michelle Greenall and Tony Pawson have been immense here.

The Clubhouse: Alan and Kathy have kept the Bar well stocked, the match day lunches organised and the volunteers at hand, Martha has kept the Bacon cooking and Charmaine has kept the match teas consistently good. But Nick has overseen not only the maintenance of an ageing old clubhouse but also lots of small but important investment:

  • The new combined gym and physio room invested in and refreshed. Including new equipment.
  •  The interior sound system and external PA system has arrived (Thanks to Pete Gould for sponsoring)
  • The first XV changing room has been refreshed with shelving. The ground floor TWRFC street art arrives soon (Thanks to Countryside Properties).
  • The Café has arrived! A real improvement to the ground floor and to the feel of the Clubhouse.
  • Nick has recently had the ground floor completely painted and is working up some more decking outside the café.

Marketing/Press: An area awash with volunteers from Graham/Roger on match reports, to Drew/Michelle on marketing, Fran on programmes, Mac on videos, Michelle on instagram (so hip!), and Martin on the website. Not to mention Bruce’s brilliant photography each week.

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 and will continue to keep you fully appraised as we reach key milestones.

Lastly and perhaps at this present time most importantly

The Finances:  Don has continued to keep us on the straight and narrow this year. We have added cashflow forecasts and forecasting tools to our armoury as we look to ensure we are financially tight and resilient to blips. Thank goodness we did and thank goodness we ended the year in a far stronger position financially than we started. We will provide a full update at our (Covid-19 delayed) AGM when we get to it but in the meantime I wanted to reassure all the members we are in a stable position. We ended the season with cash resources in the bank, with our reserved funds safely set aside, with no debt and with sufficient cash to see us through to next season despite the early finish. We have availed ourselves of all Covid-19 grants/support that is available to us but we have not taken any funds from the various debt facilities offered from either the RFU or elsewhere. We are financially resilient at present but our planning shows any persistent delay to the restart of the rugby season will have an early impact.

So in summary:

  • The Club is in good shape on the playing side
  • We have a growing youth and ladies section
  • We have a successful academy
  • We have a performing 1st XV
  • We have a socially active club
  • We are ever closer to our #oneTWRFC ambition
  • The number of volunteers are growing and making a difference
  • 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.


Club Chairman

TWRFC Families Step-up to Help Nourish Community Foodbank

TWRFC has a long standing partnership with Nourish Community Foodbank but with the “Lockdown” hitting our community hard members have stepped up to volunteer to support the team at Nourish.

“We were busy before the lockdown supporting over 7,000 people in crisis per year across the borough of Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge” said Operations Manager Dawn Stanford. “Since lockdown we have seen over a 100% increase in referrals and we have also been asked to be part of TWBC’s Frontline response team to COVID-19. At the same time as demand has increased, we have lost a lot of our usual food and monetary donation locations e.g. churches, schools and businesses plus we have had to work around many of our existing volunteers self-isolating due to age.”

Families from TWRFC have come forward to help weigh-in and sort donations, stack shelves, pack and deliver food parcels. Nourish are restricted to the number of volunteers that can be in the packing unit due to social distancing requirements. Volunteers have worked in household groups so they aren’t limited by social distancing and Nourish supplied gloves, aprons and sanitiser on site. Deliveries are managed by knocking on clients doors without the need for contact.

Here are just a couple of examples of TWRFC families supporting Nourish

The Weaver family have been out delivering food parcels:

“I’ve always had massive respect for Nourish Community Foodbank and the support it gives our community so when Dawn asked the parents of the U12s for drivers to help with deliveries, I was really pleased to be able to help out a couple of times a week” said Tam Weaver. “It is fantastic that Nourish were able to turn to the club for help to continue with their essential work during lockdown”

The Dexter family have also been out and about supporting deliveries:

Ele Dexter commented “We want to support our community in any way we can and volunteering for Nourish Community Foodbank seemed like a great way to do something good on a regular basis.”

The Raine family have been supporting weighing-in, sorting stock and deliveries:

“I was amazed how busy the team are, it’s easy to forget that even in an affluent area people are struggling and need support from organisations like Nourish” said Drew Raine “With lock down presenting even more challenges we wanted to help as much as we could and it’s great to see the wider TWRFC family supporting a community in need.”

For more information about the work of Nourish Community Foodbank and how you can donate or help, please go to:

or follow them on facebook @nourishcommunityfoodbank