Chairman’s Christmas Newsletter

Dear All,

On behalf of the Executive management Team, I would like to wish all our members, sponsors, Volunteers, Supporters, Colleagues, Friends and Families, Suppliers and the wider Community a very Happy Christmas and a brighter looking 2023. I recognise that there will be people amongst our community who may not be in a position to celebrate as they would choose and we wish them well whatever their circumstances.

As we approach the Festive Period, we can reflect back on the first half of the season with some satisfaction and with confidence for the second half.

The Junior Club continues to thrive and the numbers and the talent of the young players continue to improve. I have had a good number of people approach me to comment on how much their Child or Grandchild is enjoying the environment we have at the Rugby Club and how much the Adults feel comfortable with the culture we are trying to build. The performance across the age grades is outstanding and again, the number of messages I have received from other rugby clubs commenting on the good behaviour of our young people and their supporters on and off the pitch have been numerous. Our youth teams are developing some serious talent for the future and the colts have become stronger as the season has progressed. Behind all these young people are their families and the coaches, managers and other volunteers. A huge thank you to you all for your energy, enthusiasm, professionalism and commitment to our young people as they follow their journey in rugby.

Social rugby is the term we apply to those teams that play in a merit table or in a development league or who play friendlies against other Clubs or who play just amongst themselves for the enjoyment on and off the pitch. Social rugby does not mean that games are not played in a competitive spirit and with the will to win. The 4th team has been playing friendlies this season having opted out of the formal league and whilst they have had a few games I feel sure that they would have liked to play more often. The price you pay for opting out of the leagues is that fixtures become harder to find and there is no framework for ‘social rugby’ within the wider game. The aim remains to make Friday night Social Rugby Night for the 4th XV, playing under floodlights.The women’s team is in a development league and has aspirations to progress in to a formal league. Numbers have been growing and the team’s performance has been improving. The Womens game is competitive and entertaining and is growing in popularity as a result of The English Roses success in the Six Nations and World Cup. New players are always welcome at Macclesfield Rugby Club. The final group of social players are the Touch Rugby Group and the Walking Rugby Group. These groups play weekly on a Thursday evening most weeks throughout the year, whatever the weather and enjoy a great time. You don’t need to have played the 15-a-side game to join in the fun on a Thursday night which doubles up as Club Night so food and drink are available. A huge thank you to all the players and to the team captains, coaches, managers and others who work so hard to make sure that we put teams out across our social rugby section.

Finally, to our senior league teams. A big thank you to Harry Grant and his team for their hard work in putting a 3rd XV out in their league and for some good results. Male participation in Rugby generally has declined since the Covid pandemic and with the league rules regarding players playing up to make sure the 2nds and 1sts can fulfil fixtures; it is the 3rd XV that feel the pressure on numbers. The only answer is somehow to increase the number of players who want to commit to paying rugby on a Saturday afternoon. One way is for all of us to reach out to people we know and promote Macclesfield Rugby Club as a destination of choice for Rugby Players of all abilities, because of the rugby and also the environment we have created at the Club.

Having had a slow start the 2nd XV have ended the first half of the season clear at the top of their league and challenging for promotion back to the Halbro North West Premiership next season. There is some serious talent in the 2nd XV and it would be great for individuals and the team to be testing themselves in a higher league in 2023. Congratulations to the players and to the leadership team for what you have achieved so far this season and all the best as we move towards the New Year.

The 1st XV and their coaching and management team have ended the first half of the season in 6th place from 12 which is an achievement given the slow start to the season. The team lost their first four games and have won six from eight since, including an impressive 25-19 win against league leaders Blackburn and there is everything to play for in the New Year which starts with a return visit by Stockport to Priory Park on the 7th January. So far, we have 118 booked in for lunch!! The more the merrier so come on down. The 1st XV is the senior representative team in the Club and, to a large degree, the level they play at is a reflection of the player pathway through the Club. We should be proud that so many of the team have come through the pathway and we should also recognise the contribution made by players who have joined the Club more recently both on and off the pitch. A huge thank you to everyone in the 1st XV playing, coaching, support and management group. Your continued energy, enthusiasm, professionalism and commitment to the success of the senior squad and the wider Club is vey welcome and much appreciated. Every week is an emotional rollercoaster!

Finally, and on behalf of the whole Club, a massive thank you to our ever-present General Manager, Andy Appleyard for his leadership of the Rugby Club through the season. Andy and his team, including Maggie and Barry, work tirelessly on our behalf to ensure that we have a Rugby Club we can be proud of and an environment that should be the envy of the wider community. Andy and his team’s commitment to developing Priory Park Venue as a destination for 3rd party functions, events and business use is what drives the Club’s financial sustainability and delivers much needed funds to invest in the Club.

To all these individuals and groups and to any I might have missed. A huge thank you and enjoy your Christmas and New Year break.

See you in 2023


Stephen Branch aka Chaos


WEEKEND ROUNDUP - and what a weekend. The 2nd XV took on Rossendale's 2nd XV and whilst not getting the win another FIVE senior colts made their debut and did themselves proud on the field against a huge opposition.Meanwhile, Macclesfield Womens Rugby continued their unbeaten streak against Ashbourne Women's Rugby , and the Colts put in a good shift in a 'Cup Preparation' friendly against Heaton Moor. Away from Priory Park the U10s smashed Kirkby Lonsdale Festival and the U14s were crowned Bowl Winners over at Sandal Festival.Even further afield the U15s were enjoying the sunshine and some rugby over in Barcelona - with a narrow defeat to Rugby Castillon (43 - 38 but some great memories made! ... See MoreSee Less
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🚨BOOK NOW FOR THE BEST SHOW IN TOWN🚨Fancy a laugh? Book in for our ‘Stand Up for your Mental Health Comedy Night’ taking place on 26th April 2024. Featuring a host of fantastic comedians from RockCentral Promotions 🎭Once booked start thinking of your prize for the NAFFLE, which will take place on the night. There will be a prize for the WOERST NAFFLE Prize on the night!!!All money raised on the night will go towards LooseHeadz amazing work in the Rugby community. #MentalHealthMatters #TackleTheStigma #rugby ... See MoreSee Less
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🚨SUNDAY FUNDAY🚨 get on down for a Double Header of live Rugby as the Colts take on Heaton Moor Rugby Club Colts followed by Macclesfield Womens Rugby .v. Ashbourne Women's Rugby .Bars open from 11:00 🍻 🏉 ... See MoreSee Less
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All the action THIS WEEKEND at your Macclesfield Rugby Club!Saturday the 2nd XV head over to Rossendale Rugby Club with THREE more colts making their debut. Live scores on our X account (@MaccRugby) from 🕒3:00. If you're not heading over why not come down to the 🌀Spiral Bar 🍻from 🕑2:00 as England Rugby Red Roses take on @Rugby Scotland in the Guinness Women's Six Nations.On Sunday we have a #doubleheader as our Colts host Heaton Moor Rugby Club in a Friendly pre-cup final game, followed by our Macclesfield Womens Rugby taking on Ashbourne Women's Rugby - bars open from 11:00.Come on down and let's ... See MoreSee Less
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Annie James - Macclesfield Womens Rugby 1st XV player is WELL on her way with her challenge of doing a 10K a month for a year!!! She is raising money for The Alzheimer's Society and of course this week is 💜 Alzheimer's Awareness week 💜!!! Don't forget whilst Annie does these 10Ks - she is now doing Trek26 (Alking Marathon), and she STILL finds the energy to play for Sheffield Hallam University AND Macclesfield Womens Rugby!!! A true athlete and formidable sports person.If you can donate to Annie's cause please donate using the link below!! ... See MoreSee Less
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