On behalf of the club and from me personally, I trust that everyone involved in the club are safe and well. I know each personal journey will have been unique over the last nine months, but I sincerely hope the future will be brighter for us all very soon.
Having recently begun a second national lockdown, which on the face of it was inevitable, all community sport has been put on hold.
I wanted to write to you all as I think it is important we focus on the positives in terms of our position at Frome RFC.
Our aim so far has been to maintain club operations as near to normal as we can under government and RFU guidelines. We have been remarkably successful getting everyone onto a rugby pitch offering high class coaching across the board whilst providing all the facilities we can.
Senior playing numbers are strong and academy numbers are as encouraging as I can remember. Toby and his team, with the direction of Cameron, have put together a superb training plan and I have supported them in every way possible so that you, our players, are still able to develop your skills and enjoy the club’s facilities.
A similar positive approach has stood out in the Mini and Junior Section with their resumption of rugby. Restrictions on parental numbers, space for social distancing, and sheer player numbers have been superbly managed by Garrie Webster (our Mini & Junior chairman).
We all know that the competitive nature of our sport has been curtailed and I understand the frustrations that this is bringing for some. But I want to highlight that all along this period your committee have provided all the resources they possibly can.
Through all of that activity, across the club, we in the club’s administration have all been struggling, and managing, to balance the books for today and even now we are planning how to secure our club for the coming months. Above all, I have throughout considered it to be vital that we maintain our ethos as a member’s club.
Without a fully operational bar our income stream has been drastically affected. The costs that we incur have been necessarily reduced to a minimum, but they still remain a cost, nonetheless. In a normal season the membership we receive would account for approximately 12-15% of our income and the profits we gain from the social activities would support both the rugby section and the bricks and mortar. Our current predictions show that the membership income this year could be as little as 60% of our income for 2020/2021 season while our bar income and therefore its profits have all but vanished. In aggregate this means our income has dropped to about 9% of its normal amount. This is completely unsustainable.
The reason I’ve taken time to explain this is that I would like everyone to understand the value and importance of our membership fees being paid. Every member counts, every pound helps, every
volunteer is saving us money. So please, please, continue to support your club and pay your membership for the whole year, your contribution has never been more important.
You may be aware that we have taken advantage of the government furlough scheme to protect ourselves from crippling costs whilst the Clubhouse has been closed. We will obviously continue to use the scheme during the second lockdown.
There has been a shift back toward the importance of volunteer assistance to run the club. Both the clubhouse Bar and the Cabin (center field) have been open for a number of rugby-based functions or as a refreshment outlet on Sunday mornings.
It is frustrating that we have to close again. But please rest assured, we are committed to continuing the great work we have done as soon as we can.
When the restrictions are relaxed, the clubhouse will be opening for upcoming events in the rugby calendar and on those dates we will be continuing the booking system in place for tables (probably with a maximum of 6 at each, though we will have to wait to see what the future holds). This will help us keep our members as safe as possible and give us a chance to enjoy a taste of normality. `
Matt Warnock (media) will be advertising the dates. This will be done through our numerous media channels and booking tables will be possible through email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Finally and most importantly.....
I want to say a heart felt thankyou to everyone at the club. To the committee and finance committee for their efforts, for the support you as members are showing, the time our volunteers are giving, the attitude of our players and the patience you are proving you are still willing to give.
Yours in Rugby
Shane Lewis Chairman