Chairman’s Update – 5th January 2021

First of all, I hope everyone managed to have the best Christmas possible under the circumstances and let’s hope that this year is better and brighter after Easter. Up to then, it seems the road is going to be pretty bumpy.

Following the Government announcement yesterday and the latest update from the RFU I regret to inform you that all community rugby activity in England is suspended until further notice. In line with current Government policy, all adult and age-grade rugby training and fixtures must stop. This means that we return to Stage A on the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap for all players. The most recent Rugby Community Update is available on the RFU website where you can find online training sessions for age-grade players (and adults if wished). ‘Get Your Shirt On’ is a series of workout sessions led by former England players and aimed at 6-18 age grades. In addition, I am sure that Andy Appleyard will have some fitness and skills exercises on MaccTive so keep a lookout.

Once again, on behalf of the Exec Team, a huge thank you to all members, volunteers, sponsors, suppliers and everyone associated with Macclesfield Rugby Club for your active support in the face of the pandemic. Thanks to your generosity and participation over the months the Club has made good progress and is in a stronger position than at the time of the first lockdown: The changing room refurbishment is nearly complete. The Sin Bin is open and I can report to members that bar takings in December were 80% higher than in December 2019 when the Club was fully operational! That is a staggering testament to the level of support members have given the Club at the expense of their livers and it is also a sign of the potential the Sin Bin Bar has when we return to normal. The Priory Park Horror will become a regular feature in the Club calendar along with the Oktoberfest and we might even bring Neil Diamondo back? The weekend tournament involving the whole club split in to four houses will, I feel sure, return as a feature and the Macclesfield Blues v Macclesfield Whites game just before Christmas was very entertaining and could become a regular fixture in the future. These are just some examples of the positive things the Club and the membership have delivered in adversity. It would be remiss of me not to mention the great work done around the Club by the Roustabout group in support of the Grounds team. Between them they have made sure that the Club and its grounds remain presentable and fit for purpose.

As the guidelines change, we will continue to work hard to deliver activities on and off the pitch for the membership. The objectives are clear:

·         To ensure we remain solvent

·         To do what we can to keep the playing membership including coaches, team managers and other support volunteers engaged and involved so that when we return to rugby, we have strength in depth across all teams and age grades

·         To do what we can to keep the social membership of the Club engaged and involved so that participation in the social life of the Club remains healthy when we open again

·         To do what we can to retain our sponsors by giving them compelling reasons to support The Macclesfield Rugby Club Family as a vibrant, professional, community asset

·         To ensure that our commercial arm ‘Priory Park Venue’ is well prepared to welcome clients for functions, events and facilities hires when the guidelines allow

Whilst we have every reason to be optimistic and we will take every opportunity within the guidelines, to deliver activities on and off the pitch whenever we can, we are likely to be severely limited for the remainder of this season and at least until the February half term. The Club management team is already planning activities on and off the pitch from Easter onwards through the summer months. We have a great opportunity from when the clock’s go forward up to the start of the 2021/22 season to make up for the lost time and enjoy participation in rugby and in our social life with tournaments and events through that period.

My plea is that you continue your magnificent support to the Club in the next few months and beyond and that you stick with us as we continue to face and to overcome the challenges ahead.

Happy New Year Everyone!

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