As our 1st XV step up to South West One East the new season commences with three pre-season friendlies before the first league game, at home to Wimborne, on 7th September. Congratulations to Jamie Temple, Andy White and last season’s squad for gaining a much-deserved promotion. We now wish new captain Euan Prime every success, knowing that he will certainly lead from the front.
Despite the modern-day challenges of fielding some sides week in, week out, the club remains strong across men’s and women’s senior rugby, and is always pushing to recruit and develop players to keep it that way. The adoption of a ‘one club’ philosophy, coordinating rugby and events with the minis and juniors, will galvanise us further.
Much goes on behind the scenes too. David Toone is doing a great job with the senior squad as Head of Rugby and the club is investing where it matters in areas like pitch and facilities maintenance, web and social media and team kit.
Turning to fundraising events, the Summer Ball and the Beer & Music Festival went tremendously well and it would be good to see even more VPs participate next time, similarly with the 300 Club and general volunteering. The club and I personally appreciate the help that VPs provide, particularly recognising those of you who step forward on multiple occasions. In this regard we must become less reliant on our Swans to provide bar support at lunches, so I will be asking for more VP help on these occasions.
The 300 Club raises valuable funds for the club and is open to members, friends and family. Only a third of you are currently signed up so please do give this consideration. There are two prizes each month and the top prize is up to £500 - sign up and full details are available on this site.
Last season’s lunches were again very well supported and enjoyed by all - thank you for adopting online payment so readily, it really helped everyone concerned, particularly Sally and I. As such we have a decided to enhance the sponsors’ lunch to also include VPs, providing an opportunity to get together early in the season – please make a note of the dates listed below. The final aspect to crack, is a robust seating plan to eradicate the dreaded ‘Post-It’ notes!
Taking payments online also helps to keep the cost of your VP subscription unchanged for the 7th year in succession – thank you to the 80% of you for coming with me on this. Payment by Direct Debit via our web site maintains our membership records automatically, whereas BACS or any other type of payment requires bank account monitoring and manual intervention. You know that I struggle to find the time for this and I would again ask anyone not on Direct Debit to sign up this month please.
We are already taking online bookings for lunches so I’m listing the dates below to make sure that you are aware and you don’t miss the opportunity to book:
28th September 2019 – Sponsors’ & VPs’ Lunch – 1st XV v Beaconsfield
16th November 2019 – Chairman’s Lunch – 1st XV v Royal Wootton Bassett
7th December 2019 – Supporters’ Christmas Lunch – 1st XV v Sherborne
18th January 2020 – President’s Lunch – 1st XV v Chippenham
21st March 2020 – Ladies (only) Lunch – 1st XV v Salisbury
4th April 2020 – Vice Presidents’ Lunch – 1st XV v Trowbridge
On other occasions, when the 1st XV are playing at home, a hot or cold finger buffet may be available for you to enjoy at a nominal cost an hour before the match.
In addition to South West One East beckoning, the Rugby World Cup commences next month and I’m pleased to let you know that the club will be open at 9.00am for England v Argentina on 5th October and at 9.15am for England v France on 12th October.
More RWC dates will follow, so please look out for my emails, which will also keep you up to date on fixtures and events - if you don’t get them, please send your email address to mine.
So, everything is in place for a great season of rugby. Let’s support all of our teams and remember that the 1st XV will be travelling further afield so supporters’ transport will often be available to book.
VP and 300 Club Secretary and on behalf of the BRUFC Committee