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!)