We apologise for the length of this statement and the forum it reaches you on. We do however, respectfully request you find the time to read on.
We wish we could all be together at this time of the season, celebrating another fantastic season. Trophies awarded, smiles galore and the odd celebratory drink consumed.
2020 promised to be the biggest and best year for our club. A record number of children registered at the start, all teams playing from Scholes Lane, more coaches than ever before and a huge amount of volunteers becoming loyal members. So many family-fun events had been planned, new partnerships had been formed and a new vision launched.
You don’t need us to fill in the part of what happened next.
Despite the obvious, we have managed to stay together: working with the community, for our community. We continue to invest in our ethos of OneTeamOneDream.
This year, the coaches have worked wonders keeping the children involved and have adhered to the many constant changes that have been forced upon them, nationally, locally and regionally. We salute them for their unwavering commitment.
We recognise the very different and difficult challenges our families and members have had to endure for such a protracted amount of time. It is testimony to every member who, at some point, have put others before themselves. From a listening ear to a shoulder to cry on. From a kind gesture through to taking the burden. You know who you are and you know what you have done on so many special, yet personable occasions.
We would like to recognise those involved in all of the regular social media updates to keep you all informed on daily, weekly and monthly updates. We recognise the amount of work undertaken by our child welfare team who are a small group of hugely committed individuals who pride themselves on their confidentiality, support and ownership. To the groundsmen who ensure we have fantastic pitches to play on no matter what weather they are presented with during their meticulous preparations to the maintenance staff who spend hours, every single week to ensure we have a home fit for purpose, to the fundraisers who try to better our equipment and facilities with ideas and grant applications; including our inaugural Souper League through to the Portico Vine Bingo Lotto.
When play was suspended, we had the most incredible bunch of volunteers step forward to react to the sudden and unpredictable changes. From old to new (volunteers, not age). A brand new health, safety and mitigation risk assessment was completed and deemed best practice nationally. A dedicated Covid-19 Officer was appointed with a wealth of clinical knowledge and experience and regular meetings were held as our volunteers continued to juggle family and work life in this new world.
I’m sure you can imagine and appreciate how many Whatsapp groups are involved in running our rugby club. From committees to coaches, social media to fundraising and all the age groups in between. It will come as no surprise to know that volunteers monitor these and have been working day and night to initially, get the children back training and with their mates and to also upgrade and improve the facilities at the place they can call their home.
This year we have made significant improvements to our kitchen area and now, a monumental project is underway alongside Volunteer-It-Yourself. We are so lucky and extremely proud to have had so many phenomenal people involved and from previous posts, we are sure you will agree, the transformation looks incredible.
2020 also slowed down our longer term dream of extending and modernising our facilities at Scholes Lane. However, having worked very closely with the RFL Created By RLWC2021 committee, St Helens Council and Sport England, momentum has regained and we are back on track to making a significance difference to the future of our wonderful club and wider community. Further details on this large scale project will be announced in 2021.
So to 2021, we use this statement with heavy hearts to confirm that from 00:01 on Thursday 5th November, in line with the recent Government announcement, no further training sessions or match days will take place until review in 2021.
Nobody can predict what the future holds but despite this year presenting us with challenges like never before, we also believe it has brought us closer. As individuals, as committee members, as volunteers but more importantly as extended family members. We have looked after each other better than ever. That must continue. Aside from amateur rugby league, please continue to look out for each other during the challenging months ahead.
Further smaller statements will follow when we have information from RFL and VIY. We will also produce a plan to get medals to each registered player.
On behalf of the Senior committee, the sub-committee, our dedicated coaching team and all of our regular volunteers, we wish you the safest of times ahead. We hope you are able to enjoy the best possible Christmas.
Mark (Hobes) Hobin - Chairman
Billy (Captain) Vaughan - Vice Chairman