Season 2020-21 is already like no other in living memory. Last season – which should have included our centenary at Abbeydale - was abruptly curtailed without finishing. Coronavirus has changed so many things in our world but, in a sports context, our close contact game is particularly badly affected. To put it mildly, these are challenging times for our Club.
There is nothing our committee can do to improve what’s going on in the world around us – but there is plenty we can do to look after the club to make sure it is in good shape for when competitive rugby does get the green light. Plus, in the meanwhile, to keep offering as much as we can in terms of training, preparation and fun.
To help focus our efforts, we’ve developed and have already started to implement a new Club Charter. This lays out the principles and values which bind us together to make us the Club we are – and that we aspire to be. All of the Committee, representing all sections of the club, have signed-up to the Charter. It is already having a powerful impact, guiding our actions and delivering positive outcomes. Please have a look at the Charter summary level principles below and attached to this page is a more detailed explanation of what each entails.
Here’s a summary of some of the early progress and successes underpinned by the Charter:
Significant investment in Coaching and coach development across the club to ensure all sections and abilities get proper support.
Delivering the maximum possible rugby experience across all sections during the uncertainty of the Coronavirus pandemic. Ensuring this is done to comply with all required and sensible safety precautions.
Both of the above points have already resulted in large numbers of people enjoying the rugby we can offer, and significant numbers of new members across all sections.
Strengthening the club’s finances to ensure we survive the Pandemic, pay our way fully and on time plus retain strategic reserves to underpin our long-term viability in case of further unexpected setbacks. Funding for this is coming from a number of sources, all of whom deserve our heartfelt thanks!
Developing firm plans – architectural and financial - to solve the long-standing issue of changing facilities, particularly for both male and female minis and junior sections. Details of these will be announced shortly.
Investing in important equipment and infrastructure including rugby balls, first aid kits, the stand and the scoreboard. This on top of jointly (with Abbeydale) funding the continuing pitch improvements and drainage programme.
Developing and in the process of finalising a new Partnership Agreement with Abbeydale Sports Club Limited. This will ensure we work together in a spirit of mutual cooperation for the next 100 years!
I hope the Charter will inspire you to participate in and support the Club – OUR club – as we navigate and finally emerge from the Coronavirus crisis. We’re in excellent shape to do so as a result of the sustained hard work of the committee and so many others. I am proud to be working with such a capable and committed group of people. Thanks to them we have the very real potential to emerge from this crisis stronger and more cohesive than at its start!
Sheffield RUFC President