RUGBY IS BACK

Over recent days some age groups have been gathering in bubbles to train, exercise and enjoy playing rugby again, following the necessary risk assessments and protocols, at Henley RFC over the road thanks to HRR. We have also had RFU and NCA AGM’s, coupled with various meetings to plan out a phased return to league rugby. Hopefully this will be in October with players returning to training in August. Lockdown seems to be easing and more will be done over the coming weeks and months but we must remain vigilant and sensitive to the needs of those who require extra care and time to adjust to a return to the new normal.

May I take this opportunity to thank all members over recent months, particularly with a shortened season and with less benefits, but we need your support more than ever now as we ask you to join again and pay your membership subscription for the 20/21 season. The management team intend looking at ways to offer some enhanced benefits through next season to offset those lost, and we understand the uncertainty but we will have a full rugby season although delayed. We look forward to maintaining our strong relationship with you all. Our membership commences from July 1st so please join us either on the website or in the office. We will start to re-open part-time the clubhouse and the office from Monday, July 6th.

I shall not say too much about our finances for now, other than we are sound and preparing our budgets for next season. We hope to secure some new sponsorship deals in the coming weeks to give us more confidence going into the new season. Can we encourage you all to support our existing sponsors and new ones whenever possible in these challenging times.

This morning I was down at the club and I’m happy to say that all the preparation work is now complete for the new 4G training facility and will hopefully be finished in the next couple of weeks. This heat has delayed things a little because we cannot lay new carpet with adhesive, since it will not set in this climate. Just a reminder that the Raffle Draw will be at the Members Forum, so if you want that last winning ticket, please purchase through the shop portal or phone a friend who might have some to sell. We intend hosting an official opening with our main sponsor, SODC and guests , when it is appropriate.

Nigel and all the coaches have been working hard to secure and maintain players for our league teams and community sides. More news and developments here to follow soon. Henley College have retained their AASE League status following the departure of Wasps and so together with Ealing Trailfinders RFC, we have launched a joint venture to attract players to the College and help resurrect our Colts team in the future.

Normally at this time of year we would be hosting our AGM in the clubhouse, so we have decided to host a Zoom Members Forum on Wednesday, July 8th at 7.30pm. We will cover financials, playing and M&J reports and would welcome any questions. Please contact Alistair on marketing@henleyhawks.co.uk and let him know. The link details for the zoom meeting will be shown on the website nearer the time. We hope to have time at the end of the meeting for further questions but that may be limited. It would be great to have large numbers online hearing our news but also starting to generate our club spirit again.

As we go into the summer holidays, I hope you all can take some comfort on being closer to friends and family, perhaps even take that holiday and hopefully see all children return to school in September. There are many variables and uncertainties on the horizon, but we all share that desire to restore our lives back to normal, whilst being conscious of others and their concerns. We at the rugby club are ready and keen, when you are, to welcome you back to a safe environment, great friendship and above all lets play and watch rugby.

Take care,

Chris Nixon