We wish Ali Kendall (Club Safeguarding Officer) all the best as he embarks on a new adventure moving on from Surrey to lay down new roots in Devon.
Ali came late to GRFC post an illustrious playing career at Chobham RFC. Ali joined our youth section with his son James who was part of the Colts team that achieved National Colts Cup success in 2017. Ali played his part as forwards coach but within the year group became legendary for his spreadsheet itineraries for tours to Argentina and Sweden that helped keep an unruly bunch of teenagers under some sort of control. Just as Ali thought he was standing down as a volunteer, Ali’s daughter returned from uni to join our Gazelles and Ali was persuaded to head up the club Safeguarding function. Ali has transformed the role both from a compliance point of view but also in terms of spearheading the Junior Development Programme which he was instrumental in designing. Ali grafted and got things done. Whether it be spending hours doing DBS checks, going through safeguarding processes or designing the Junior development program, Ali never sought a title or any sort of recognition. He did it purely for the love of the game and for what Rugby does for young kids and earned the respect of all those at GRFC.
As he moves to Devon he has already been to see Newton Abbott RFC. Our loss will be their gain. Unfortunately, we couldn’t give Ali a GRFC send off at a match or festival as would be appropriate, but we managed to present Ali a bottle of Fizz as a thankyou whilst surrounded by his removal boxes as he prepares to move this week.
Ali we wish you all the best for your move and look forwards to welcoming you back to the club whenever you can visit.