A Message from our Chairman

A Message from our Chairman

By Caroline McHale
8 January
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A club update in light of current government restrictions.


Happy New Year to you all!

Here we go again! The DCRFC family who are facing some of the very real and serious challenges resulting from Covid-19 need to know we have other members who are willing to provide support. If you yourself need any help, or know another member who needs any support, please do get in touch at durhamcityrugby@btconnect.com or by calling Caroline on 07960582534.

In the three or four days leading up to the Prime Minister’s lockdown announcement the club Executive had started the debate regarding our responsibilities with regard to all DCRFC rugby activity. The ‘Return to Rugby’ (R2R) group were actively working on the way forward, resulting in an executive decision to take a cautious stance. The short cessation of DCRFC rugby activity was to allow a period of time to allow reflection and examination of emerging guidance to inform the way forward. During this period it was clear that there was an emerging picture of escalating infection, our debate centred on ‘Just because we can – does not mean we should’! We were considering what part DCRFC could and should play in preventing the spread of the virus to save lives. Following the PM’s announcement the RFU very quickly made the following statement:

Following the government’s national lockdown announcement to counter the steep rise in Covid-19 infections, all community rugby activity in England is suspended until further notice. In line with current government policy, all adult and age grade training and fixtures must stop. This means we return to Stage A on the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap for all players.

On behalf of DCRFC Executive Committee I can assure players at all levels we want you back on the field as soon as is it safely possible. The same applies to all members, we want you to return to your club ASAP.

Our ‘R2R’ group have done a tremendous job throughout this pandemic: analysing guidance and examining health & safety procedures in relation to training and social distancing to develop our ‘Standard Operating Procedures’ (SOP). This has enabled activity to proceed as safely as possible, within the guidance, and has enabled the decisions taken at Executive level to be made with confidence that DCRFC have taken their responsibilities seriously. When we are able to consider a return to rugby they will continue to provide DCRFC with this support and guidance. Thank you to all involved, because sometimes leadership is not about being popular, it is about making considered decisions based on the impact on all.

The ‘R2R’ group recommended to DCRFC Executive that we approach the RFU at the highest levels requesting a further extension of the season, providing our committed coaches and players at all levels with the hope of a return to rugby when Covid 19 is under control and the weather is kinder. We have approached Steve Grainger Head of Community Rugby at the RFU; Paul Candlish Durham County’s RFU Council member and Laura Lines our regional RFU officer with this request. Fingers crossed they see sense and we all have some thing to look forward to, but especially our age grade coaches and players.

We finished 2020 with our very successful ‘Flying High Campaign’ raising £28K, which will be used as stated at the time ‘to help us overcome the ongoing challenges presented by the Covid-19 crisis and to continue to drive our club forward’. I assure you all during this whole pandemic situation the Executive committee have been keeping a watching brief on our ‘house’, making frequent visits to check the premises, looking after our core staff and taking advantage of all government opportunities for business support. Our ability to ensure we survive and thrive following this global crisis is secure.

We have enjoyed 4/5 years of success at all levels within the club and building a sound financial base; we will come through this and you will see the ‘Blue Flag Flying High’ once again.

If you are in need of cheering up look again at the Flying High Campaign video ‘What does DCRFC mean to our youngsters’? They say it all.

Stay safe.
Richard Wilkinson
DCRFC Chairman

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