As 2020 winds down & we reflect on the year "that could've been"; the things we didn't get to do, the people we didn't get to see, the places we didn't get to go to; it is important to remember the positives in life. The things we did do, the people we did see, the places we can go.
We have all missed out on a lot this year, but the way our community rallied throughout is testament to not only the individual but the collective. In the summer, we came together to clap for carers & the NHS, deliver meals and shopping to those isolating, contact people to simply check in and see if they needed anything. Our fitness levels had a boost (for some of us anyway) with running, bike rides, Facebook challenges; and in that we showed what we are capable of.
When we could, we started our rugby sessions again. Both a men's and women's senior teams had great attendance throughout the longest pre-season on record and we hope to see this continue once matches recommence. Our mini & junior teams adapted brilliantly to changing laws (rugby & governmental) with massive enthusiasm and commitment from players and parents to help get sessions on and for Grove Park to come reawaken following its lockdown slumber.
The November lockdown and subsequent updated tiers have again hit us hard, but the resolve from our Club has held firm. We joined forces as a WHOLE CLUB (rugby, cricket, squash & house) to fundraise through Christmas Tree sales, provide food for those in need and support the Handy Ladies to provide the local community the chance to meet the big man himself!
This weekend, watching the annual BBC Sports Personality of the Year award, it is easy to argue that rugby union doesn't get as significant a coverage as it should, or that the "personality" part of the award is generally ignored; but watch closer and you could see the power that sport brings to lives. It has taught each and every one of us key life skills that we didn't even know; and it continues to do the same for future generations. The Unsung Hero award this year want to a member of the #RugbyFamily who sadly died this year, but who embodied everything great about our sport.
Watch the video below to see the impact that Matt Ratana made on his club and all those people that they encountered. It goes to show that we ALL have the power to make a positive change.
As we move in to 2021 and rugby returns, we would be delighted and forever grateful that you return to MRC. Whether that is to play, coach, volunteer or support, you will ALWAYS be welcome down at Grove Park and you will forever belong to our #RugbyFamily. Next year will be difficult as we look to bounce back so any help that you can provide us would be significant. It could be bringing down your friend, partner, colleague to put some boots on and play, provide coaching assistance, help organise teams or fundraisers, work on sponsorships, our community integration, school links, pitch maintenance, social media, putting our corner flags...literally ANYTHING. We want 2021 to be the year that we #ComeTogehter, bounce back and grow our club and our rugby family.