Chairman’s Update

After 16 months; full contact, league competition rugby returns to Priory Park! It all starts again on the 4th September with a 1stXV fixture against newcomers to the North Premier League, Burnage. Other teams’ fixtures have yet to be announced. Pre-season training is in full swing on Tuesdays and on Club night Thursdays. If you are a player, new or old, then get the boots out and get down to training. The match day lunch calendar will be open very soon, so keep an eye on the website and social media and get yourselves down to the Club to celebrate the return of rugby and a new season.

If you haven’t been down to the Club recently you need to check it out. We now have three fully operational bars! The Sin Bin has been a fantastic asset for the Club. It is a great outdoor facility and has been hugely popular throughout the pandemic as we have been able to socialise. The Spiral Lounge has a great rustic look. Full of character and displaying Club memorabilia, this bar is cosy and popular with the membership. The latest facility is the brand-new Priory Suite bar. Pete Sampson and his team from Scissorwood, along with other Club stalwarts, have designed and built a state-of-the-art bar as the showpiece of the Clubhouse. Tiled front, granite top and a modern design behind the bar with effective lighting this bar will host many matchdays, functions and events for years to come. In addition, the Club has a new main brewery partner in AB InBev, with Guinness, and beers from Beartown Brewery in Congleton. In short, your Club has been busy over the last 16 months investing in a facility that we can be proud of and enjoy as a social centre for our members and the local community.

For the players, we have completed the refurbishment of the changing rooms, including the creation of separate changing, toilets and shower facilities for the Women and Girls and we have displayed Club memorabilia along the main corridor. We have invested in improved lighting for the Astro pitch and in additional lighting for part of the top pitch.

The grounds team, led by John Webster, and the Roustabouts, led by Pete Harper have done a wonderful job to ensure that the house and grounds are in great condition and ready to welcome players and spectators in September.

To every individual and business who has contributed in any way whatsoever towards the development of the Rugby Club, a huge thank you. To all of you who have continued to support the Rugby Club by attending functions, events, tournaments, training and matches as we have been able to, again a huge thank you. What your Club has achieved in the last 16 months has been amazing; One Badge-One Club-One Voice.

The membership portal will be open from the 2nd August (5th August for the Mini/Juniors) and I would ask that everyone who wants to be a member of this great Club signs up and pays their subscription at the earliest opportunity. Whether you want to be a full playing member or a social member or a season ticket holder, there is room for everyone. If you are a Life Vice President and you bought your membership many years ago, I would invite you to consider making a donation equivalent to social membership as a contribution towards the running costs of the Club. The money we raise through subscriptions is massively important in supporting the costs of running the Rugby Club. For anyone in doubt, the money raised through subscriptions is not used for the payment of players.

I would like to welcome back The Club’s main sponsor and other sponsors who have supported us prior to and through the pandemic. As we look forward to an exciting new season, we are reaching out to you and to new sponsors, both individuals and businesses, to support the Rugby Club. Your help is critical and is used to invest back in our ambition to play at the highest level we can achieve across all age grades, types and genders of rugby within our means. Please contact us directly if you are interested in sponsoring the Rugby Club and please spread the word to other individuals and businesses who might be interested in supporting us. You, and they, will be supporting a fantastic sporting enterprise at the heart of the local community.

So, after 16 months, we are back with improved facilities for players and spectators to enjoy competitive league rugby. The Rugby Club reflects the membership. We embrace the core values of our sport, and we embrace the spirit of Rugby in our social experience. Your continued support is massively important on and off the pitch.



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