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Keeping You Informed - Chairman’s Update

Two weeks into the New Year and I hope you have all got back into the family/work/college/school routines. I sincerely wish you and yours all the very best.

2022 will be a year this club will forever be remembered for, but no sooner has that year ended, another blank canvas begins. Just two weeks into 2023 and I have so much to share with you, that I best just keep it to the headlines, otherwise it would take up your whole weekend just reading this post. I’m not convinced our volunteers have stopped long enough to enjoy a mince pie nor pull a cracker nor sing Auld Lang Syne! Absolutely relentless in their dedication to our club.

So after the amazing year that brought us a new clubhouse and the magnificent events that took place thereafter, 2022 sadly ended with significant flooding to the changing rooms, officials room and storerooms within the older of our buildings. An emergency response was supported in person and online and thankfully we salvaged some of our equipment and goods. The recovery phase is well underway and we have been supported by volunteers, local businesses and via some amazing online donations, to help fund the repairs needed before the new season gets underway. Thank you to everybody who has helped us, with a particular thanks to Violet-Grace’s Gift for their substantial donation.

A busy two weeks has seen us begin the registration process for the upcoming season, coaches have undertaken their re-qualification requirements and new volunteers have stepped forward to plug some gaps from last year. We are welcoming new players and new families who join our seasoned superstars.

We have some really exciting and unique events planned for this year and you have probably already seen details of our Neon Bonkers Bingo Night, Talent Show, Medium/Psychic Night and Comedy Night. Fantastic events that I really hope you can get involved in. We are committed to putting these events on at minimal cost so more people can enjoy them. We fully understand the demands of everyday life at the moment. Lots more events will follow over the Spring and into the Summer, so keep your eyes out on our socials.

We are running some significant off field projects this year (subject to external funding), including; a floodlights project, investment in solar panels to become more energy efficient, new pitch care products, a memorial garden, more CCTV and a Volunteer It Yourself project in which we will be increasing the amount of changing rooms to accommodate girls/women’s rugby league from Scholes Lane.

We have secured numerous partnerships within our local community, in line with our Community Hub Strategy and vision. We will be hosting community coffee mornings, each with a different theme so to bring people together in a safe and caring environment. Our close relationship with St Helens Police and Merseyside Police has developed so they will now use our clubhouse to offer six weekly ‘drop in surgeries’ so community members can speak face to face with their local officers. This will develop into bespoke events such as bike marking, crime prevention seminars and family fun days.

We are now working closer than ever with Willowbrook Hospice, Violet Graces Gift, People Empowered CIC, Teardrops, The Women’s Refuge at Merton Bank, The Doyle Phillips Foundation, Saints Community Development Foundation, St Helens Borough Council and British Police Rugby League Team team and have so many exciting plans for this year and beyond. I would like to highlight The Rugby League Fan Club for their unwavering support towards our club for sharing a lot of things we get up to.

We have recently been interviewed on BBC Radio Merseyside, appeared in the The Guide Liverpool, local magazines and newspapers and as recently as this week, accepted an offer from Sport England ClubMatters to feature as a National Case Study, detailing our growth, our commitment to working alongside the community and how our club will be highlighted across the country as ‘best practice’ - not just within community rugby league - but all community sports. Furthermore we have been invited to speak at an Inclusive, Culture and Values seminar with the workforce of professional sporting bodies such as the Rugby Football League, England football team,England and Wales Cricket Board and England Netball amongst others. Little old Portico Vine.

Hand on heart, this is just a tiny snapshot of what is happening behind the scenes. We continue to review our policies and practices, learn off each other, support each other, yet remain committed to ensuring every child has the right to shine and that we will keep chasing the next dream as One Team. We are really keen to get our children more heavily involved in running the club this year.

Here’s to 2023. Thanks for being amazing supporters - we are indebted to you all.

Hobes (Mark Hobin)

Club Chairman


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