Guildford Rugby Football Club

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Chairman’s Letter no. 15

Dear Members,

I hope all are doing well and looking forward to Spring.

The end of Season is coming soon and many Teams and Year Groups are preparing for Playoff/ Final Matches!!   Good Luck to all of our Year Groups and Teams with their season ending Matches!!  It was also great to see such a good turnout at the Club for the Youth’s 7’s Festival co-hosted with the UR7’s last weekend!

For the senior side, the Men’s 1st XV have a couple of games left to go. Secure in the league for next season, we have a chance at two wins which will give us a solid finish in the top half of the table in a fiercely competitive league, which before last weekend had six sides separated by a single point.  We have shown the ability to win against the top sides on our day and hope to end the season strong!!

This Saturday sees the end of an era, with Dave Ward leaving Harlequins and Guildford to move on to a new endeavour.  We owe Dave a huge debt of thanks for his contributions over the years and congratulations for what he has achieved with Guildford, Harlequins and England, winning ‘A’ caps and touring New Zealand with the full England side. As coach at Guildford, he has overseen two league promotions and victories in the Surrey Cup, over almost 200 first team fixtures. Dave’s influence will be felt for many years to come, with many of our current Under 21 squad having received their first team caps under his guidance.

Please do come down and support Dave to give him the send-off he deserves and support the first team, who will be playing their last home game of the season, kicking off against CS Stags at 3pm. 

Elsewhere in the men’s teams, the 2nd XV have had a positive season under the watchful eye of Charlie Maguire, as have the 3rd XV, riding high in their league and both still hunting a playoff place in their respective leagues. On the Vets squad, they have a League Final Match against Henley at home on the 13th.  Please come down to cheer them to victory!

Our Gazelles continue to make us proud, securing their league titles after winning in an emotional game at home to Ellingwood & Ringwood on 17th March. On Sunday, they attempt to gain promotion to Championship South 1, the highest level an amateur team can play in the ladies leagues, in a playoff against Old Albanians away at Maidenhead RFC which kicks off at 2.45pm. Supporters are encouraged to travel on their coach and I’d like to wish them the very best on the day. 

Lastly for Rugby and looking ahead to next season, I am pleased to be able to announce that we have Tom Williams joining us as Head Coach from Esher Rugby.  Some of you may remember Tom from a previous stint as a backs coach at Guildford. Tom has big shoes to fill, but has all the skills and experience needed to take the Club forward.  I can also happily tell you that Kyle Sinckler is staying on as our Defence Coach, which is fantastic news. We’re also incredibly proud of what Sink has achieved so far in his career and look forward to seeing him at this year’s World Cup.

I am extremely happy to announce that last Friday’s City Lunch was fantastic.  It was a great time enjoyed by all and it was a Record Setting City Lunch in terms of profitability and raising Funds for the Club, which are WELL needed.

I would like to Thank Skippy for all his efforts and time into taking the Torch for City Lunch and organizing all.

Last week, the Board met with Nino Sheikh, who Chairs the Comms Committee, to discuss better ways to communicate to our Members.  Also, as the season draws to an end, the Board will meet with Chairs and various coaches of the Club to discuss ways to improve communication next year, and also to discuss what is expected from each position and how we can improve the Club together.

There is still a perception of the Club being two separates clubs, the Junior Club and the Senior Club.  There is also a perception that the Junior Club financially supports the Senior Club, which just isn’t factual.  The Junior Club makes most of its revenue from Dues from all the kids and different year groups, along with Festivals.  The Senior Club makes most of its revenues from Bar Sales on Saturdays and also Sponsors, such as 1st Pitch, Shirt, etc.   NEITHER of which supports all of the costs to run the Club.

This is why we have invested in areas such as the Function and Bar room in hopes Events/ Functions and simply people coming down to the Club can help go to bridging the Gap to sustain the functioning of the Club.  This is why commercial is so important in helping raise funds to support the Club.   This is why we are always reminding everyone of the Deficit the Club faces every year.

So, finding ways to raise Funds to help the Club function is vital for ALL areas of the Club and we need ALL areas of the Club to work together to do so and that is why Fund Raisers, such as the City Lunch, are so important for the Club and all its Members.

Over the next few weeks, The comms committee will be reaching out to all to discuss some of these areas that Members can help support the Club.  Areas such as commercial and Club Fund Raisers and Events need more Member involvement. 

There will also be a Year End Gala held in June that you will receive details on.   The Gala Dinner profits will all be used to pay down the Club’s substantial debt from the original construction of the facility years ago.  I ask that all Chairs, Coaches, Parents, and everyone involved with the Club plan to attend and come enjoy a great evening with all of us.  Hopefully we can see Tables for each age group, each team, etc., as it is vital for the Club to pay down this debt.

There will be various ways to help support the Event and I ask that you please support the Club in any way you can.

It has been a strong year for the Club so far and I hope this continues until End of Season!!

I look forward to seeing you all at the Club.

As always, please reach out to me with any questions or concerns.

All the best

Joe

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