Chairman’s Update

Members and friends of TWRFC,

Welcome to 2022 and Happy New year to all.

Firstly, I hope you are well, healthy and happy. It is of course great to be back to normal rugby but I am very conscious that there are still some very challenging problems in our community.

However, as we are at the half way point in the season I wanted to give you a club wide update. It has been a very busy first four months across all aspects of the club with plenty of rugby played so let’s have a quick tour 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. One common feature across our club and many other clubs locally is a struggle for availability. The return to senior rugby is proving quite abrasive on the bodies of our seniors and we are seeing more soft tissue injuries and longer recovery periods. Hopefully this will diminish as our bodies re-acclimatise to contact.

The Vets have had one outing so far this season and two fixtures where the opposition have failed to raise a team, the latest being TJ’s. However, as you would imagine this has not held the Vets back. They have remained focussed on their training regime and are seen regularly at touch on a Tuesday and the bar on a Saturday. They have, as always also been actively supporting the social side in their fixtures.

Vets Pre-match Huddle

The Social side have also been out on the field of play and enjoying life back in Kent 5 rural league. They are presently mid-table having played 5, won 2. They have had nice wins against Old Gravesendians and Vigo. They did also record a win against Gravesend on Mute’s 40th birthday weekend, but as we fielded a squad of circa 30 we did have to offer them the walkover win!! Well played lads good to see you back and active.

The Elite squad is a having a tougher start to the season. We do of course have a completely new coaching set up and an evolving playing squad. As per my note earlier in the week we have recently made some changes to our coaching set up as we welcomed back Simon Jervis to the club as our Director of Rugby. He will continue to be well supported by Chaz Spence, Ben Kayser, David Strettle and Paddy Seymour. Stuart continues to lead all things senior rugby and I would like to thank him for all the hard work he has put in this year under tough conditions.

Elite Squad & Management Team

We have started see the fruits of some hard labour as the squad are playing some lovely rugby. It is particularly pleasing to see our pack looking strong and us winning scrum penalties at regular intervals. We are still lacking some squad strength and depth in key positions but are working hard to address these. I have to say I have really enjoyed watching the rugby this year and have huge admiration for our players who literally give their heart and soul for our club week in week out. Thank you.

Ben Kayser watching the IXV in action

The Youth section:

What a difference a year makes: This year we have had fixtures, festivals, training (in person) every single week. What’s more……the pitches have been in great condition and we have played every week!! We now have over 760 youth members and it has been great to see so many of them back at St Marks.

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. You will see from our social media we now publish every youth fixture and the result every weekend. We are keen for them to feel as special as any other team in this club. It also means I can see all the results and I have to say our U13’s are looking pretty unbeatable this season. Well played lads and good luck in the Kent Competition later this season.

The Academy: 

Andy has continued to keep his focus on the Academy in the first half of the season. As always this is the quieter half of the season as it overlaps with most of the local school rugby.

We are really keen to have a cracking second half of the season with some real focus on Strength and Conditioning as well as seeing our new DoR Jervo get heavily involved. We will also see Ben and Stretts get more involved as well as other local qualified coaches. Andy is really looking forward to having a great second half of the season.

As always a huge thanks to our first team players who are helping out and doing a brilliant job inspiring the next generation.

The Ladies section: 

It is great to see so many numbers across all our ladies age groups. Simon continues to steer the ship well with the addition of Kelsey helping out across the older age groups.

The U13’s are progressing well and are in the Kent waterfall competition. The U15’s are doing well in the league and are in the last 16 of the national cup. The U18’s are enjoying their rugby and rebuilding the squad back to previous years strengths. The over 18’s continues to grow as our mini-coaches, senior players partners and friends build towards pulling a side together.

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 Inner Warriors – Ladies Over 18’s

So lastly to the running of the club :

The Commercial team: 

I would like to thank all our sponsors for their unwavering support this year. Many of our sponsors have been with us for many years and they enable this great club to trade on year after year having the impact we do on so many young lives. We have also added several new sponsors this year like:

Tunbridge Wells Taxis 888 tunbridgewellstaxis.co.uk ;

Pringle Insurance pringleinsurance.co.uk ;

Prestige Plumbing prestigeplumbers.co.uk ;

Benchmark Brewery Benchmark Brewery | Craft Beer | Eridge | Tunbridge Wells ;

Willowstick willostix.co.uk | English Willo Cricket bats

Easistore Storage Tunbridge Wells – Self Storage Units for Hire Kent (easistore.co.uk).  

Your support is helping us so much, thank you.

We are under no illusion the ability to get new partners/sponsors is always hard but we are ambitious and determined. If you know anyone who would like to sponsor our club please do let Simon Hughes or Andre Van Zijl know.

Operations: 

Membership: Has been a huge success again this year. Martin has brought real discipline to this via Spond and its starting to make a real difference as well as being really useful to track attendance. A record year for membership numbers and of course membership fees. We presently have over 750 youth members and 136 senior players. In addition we have well over 100 VP and social members. All round a good bunch of members who enjoy being part of our very special Club. Thank you for your support of your local club. 

Pitches: Well this is the first year we haven’t cancelled training for the weather!! The money we have spent on draining pitches two and three has made a real difference and they are in great condition. Long may this last!! We are now doing some work on refreshing the drainage channel along the north side of the site to make the training paddock drainage move away from our site.

Clubhouse: The cafe trades well and continues to be a great addition to our food & beverage provision, But the highlight of the first half of this season has been the arrival of Julia as our new landlady. She of course arrives with her partner in crime (Nick) and we have all felt the impact of her arrival: New drink choices being trialled; Halloween themes; Christmas decorations; and most importantly a lovely warm welcome to everyone who arrives in. No surprise that as a result of all of this we are seeing increased turnover through the Clubhouse.

The Future of the Club: 

Steve Daly and his team continue to make good progress on the AGP, Parking, Storage facility and Cricket pavilion project. Our planning permission is in which reflects a huge milestone in this project. Special thanks goes to Rich Bains for his huge personal efforts for the club. The fundraising is under way and has made a good start but as you will imagine there is still lots to do!

If you wish to support this project them please:

  • Comment favourably on the planning permission – TWBC comments are now closed but there’s still time to comment on the planning application with Wealden:

https://planning.wealden.gov.uk

Reference: WD/2021/2544/MAJ

  • Help with our fundraising either through grant applications, community fundraising or personal contributions. Please get in contact with Steve Daly if you believe you can help.

Well done Steve and team, your efforts on behalf of the club are much appreciated. 

Our Ambassadors – David Strettle, Tammy Samuel, Martin Corry and Ben Kayser support support the launch of the AGP plan

Impact on our community:

We know that as a club we have always had a significant impact on our community through volunteering work and social impact work e.g. fundraising for local charities (like Nourish)  and supporting local events (like Dunorlan Fireworks). During the pandemic our volunteer coaches also had a huge impact on the mental wellbeing of our members through virtual sessions and social events. We also continue to be a site where you can see: rugby tots happening; where BMF perform weekly fitness sessions; schools tag festival occurs; schools rugby/cricket matches happen; county schools cross-country competition occurs; dog training classes happen; acting societies practice; county over 70’s cricket occurs; our community enjoy walking with their dogs (on a lead!); and of course occasionally the Air Ambulance lands. Hence our impact locally is significant but we now wish to strive to have more impact away from St Marks.

So this year we have made a conscious effort to build out our community coaching impact. We have always supported ad-hoc requests for our local schools with visits from our parent helpers but now we have looked to offer more structure and formalise this offering. The arrival of Jack and Kelsey has certainly helped this: We have already 125+ sessions in 8 local schools. This is amazing and reflects our biggest ever community impact.

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

This weekend 16th and 17th October

This weekend we have:

Saturday 16th October

1st XV – Sutton & Epsom (Home) – 3pm k.o.
3rd XV – Old Gravesendian 2s (Home) – 3pm k.o.

Sunday 17th October

U8 – Sevenoaks (Home) 9am-10.30am
U12 – Sevenoaks (Away)
U14 – Old Elthamians (Home) – 11.30am k.o.
Ladies U15 – Medway RFC (Away)
Ladies U18 – Heathfield & Waldron (Away)

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.