Just thought it was an appropriate time to sum up the 2017-18 “140th” season.
Rugby – What a great season we have experienced with all senior sides producing some great rugby, topped by the 2nd’s being promoted as division champions. After a slow start in September the first XV had 5 months of almost undefeated rugby. Finishing mid table in no way reflects the quality and height the team reached during the year and only a weakened run it meant we didn’t finish in the top 3-4 places where we deserved to be. Great Credit to Dino, Phil and Tom for the management and leadership and congratulations nevertheless.
To then have such a strong second XV this year has been fantastic and again congratulations to some substantial wins and to Wayne, Austin & James as captain for all they have achieved.
The Third XV finished third in their league which again is hugely impressive and it’s great to see the team spirit and effort, age differential and commitment – well done to Bully, Nick and all involved.
It was a tough year at Colts level as we bravely decided to run a junior & senior side. Both teams had some strong results and I’m sure learnt a lot during the season & the junior colts only just lost in their Lancashire Cup Final last week – but the quality of rugby on display was great and a credit to the coaches and the lads. We need to see as such of that quality ease into the senior sides in the years ahead.
Finally, I’m delighted to say the Mini’s Juniors and Youth teams all had strong seasons. The U16’s won their Cup Final a couple of weeks ago and will no doubt enjoy their Canada tour in July!
Can I take this opportunity to thank all those who have worked so hard to ensure the lads can play safely and effectively. Specifically Michelle and Sam our fantastic Physio team ; Andy Toms looking after our player registration ; Chris Ham looking after the pitches ; Jenny Woodward in a range of rugby liaison work ; Barry and Graham sorting referees, team sheets and other governance needs; Tom Jarrold, Sam & Rowan Holt for their weekly help sorting out the changing rooms / Raffle / posts etc and to Adam White who mans the scoreboard for XV games ; John Taylor for arranging the gate rota & indeed all those who have done the gate during the season; Scotty for the supply of photos and reports ; Nick for the wide ranging support across a number of teams that goes unnoticed & taken for granted but is fundamental to the whole machine working as it does.
The Club – The Club has also had a strong year. The Ramsgreave Kitchen under the unswerving management of David Newman has gone from strength to strength and the quality of catering in the year has been first class – especially given the aging condition of the equipment we have (any member who may have access to any kitchen/bar equipment please let us know!). Equally the bar has had a strong year and our relationship with Bowland Brewery continues to grow and we thank them and our other key suppliers for their ongoing support. Mark Bullen & Nigel Atherton have done a great job preparing to stage the 140th Summer event in June & following on from the successful Dinner with Dean Richards recently more such events are in the pipeline for the next 12 months.
Finally, I write this on the conclusion of our 5th annual beer festival which has again been a great success for the Club and the Youth Zone but again huge thanks to all for the planning and effort and support in putting this on & for the rugby arranged across the weekend
At the heart of everything that goes on at the Club is Denise Newman & we can’t thank her enough for all her efforts. It has been a difficult year having lost her Mum but she has been an absolutely rock throughout and goodness knows where we would be without her help. I can’t possibly list the different jobs she has put her hand up to help with during the year and one task we need to address now is that we find a few additional hands to take a little of that pressure off next season. Thanks to Michael Evans who has worked tirelessly to keep the Club house standing and the redecoration of the club is Michael’s handiwork.
In terms of Governance, The Club’s application to convert to a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) is approved & ready to be implemented as of 1st June. This provides a much stronger structure for the club; positions it as a Charity and provides protection to the officers and assets of the Club. The Trustee structure will be explained a little more at the General Meeting of officers which is to be called in the next 4-5 weeks. At that meeting Brian Maudsley will be stepping down as President with Tony Farley standing as your future President. May I take this opportunity to say it has been an absolute pleasure to work with Brian over the past 6 years as Secretary & President and his input, advice and guidance has been fundamental in how the Club has evolved and now stands on the cusp of a new future. I’m sure you’ll join with me in thanking Brian for all he has done for the Club.
The work of the Development Committee has been substantial through the year and considerable progress made since the report to Members in September. The General Meeting to be held in June will give you an insight into that work & where we are. Members will be asked at the meeting to refresh and update the mandate the Committee/Trustees have to enter into exclusivity and contractual arrangements with a preferred development partner in the months ahead, as well agreeing to the programme and detail around the plans for new / reworked facilities. This is an exciting time for the Club after 7 years of hard work – it is important members engage with the Committee and be comfortable with the proposals. Please look out for the GM date which will be confirmed very shortly and come down and have your say/record your support.
The Club survives due to your support. This is demonstrated on a Saturday and at the Dinners and Events that the club arranges. It survives because of the generosity and support of its Sponsors for which we are very fortunate for such great support across the local business community. We can of course always do for with more. The Club Assets lie unused 75% of the week ; do you know someone who could use the Club for a business meeting ; an office party ; a family birthday ; a christening etc ??? You are the ambassadors of your club any opportunity to promote it would be much appreciated. Do you know a firm who would like a table on a Saturday for a game or at a Sportsman’s Dinner; or a Board around the ground ; or a barrel at the Beer festival ….?? If we could attract a handful of new firms/groups who came for lunch for example that would be the difference of profit or loss in any month. Any suggestions please let me know and we’ll do the contacting and liaison and look after them as the Club does so well.
Have a great Summer – look forward to seeing you at the GM and 140 event in June and preseason games are already being planned for August. Thank you all once again.
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Updated 14:31 - 13 May 2018 by Denise Newman