As the government looks to lift various restrictions, responsibility for our health and welfare is placed more on each individual and family. This infection will go away, with treatment and vaccines on the near horizon, and so our way of life will return to near normal. We will each have different approaches to the new normal, so we have to respect individual ways of facing the risks and changes in behaviour patterns.
The management team are very aware of the variances in our members and are looking at different ways of providing a confident and safe environment on our return. When will we return? There are many mixed messages about testing, tracing, physical contact, crowd numbers, bar and catering arrangements. We are looking at various options starting at worst case scenario and then looking up.
Season start dates considered are Sept, Nov and Jan 2021, although Premiership Rugby may commence in July, which is promising. Pre-match lunches look unlikely initially, although we intend on providing food options for all supporters. Gate management and possible segregated areas are possible across all levels of rugby and outside bars will be implemented on match days. We will have to adapt to whatever comes along, but we look forward to restoring rugby at Dry Leas.
One area that we need your support is renewing your membership, as early as possible starting from July 1st. This will not only help our finances, but will guide us on future planning for games and integration of our services and management.
Recently, past President Mike Thomas has undertaken a superb membership review for the club making several recommendations. Following on from that, at the management meeting last week we agreed our membership categories, benefits and subscriptions for next season. The fees have generally stayed the same, in some cases gone down, unlike many other clubs that have increased their membership fees to help finances. So please take a look on our website or social media for further information in due course, and please do renew your membership soon. We need your support more than ever.
Speaking of social media, we will be announcing an online poll for the Hawks Supporters Player of the Season. A big thank you to Katherine for all her hard work in making our social media content so engaging during these times. This will certainly be a close run thing, with many players excelling over the course of last season. Keep your eyes peeled on our Twitter feed for further announcements on this front, and make sure you have your say.
Our finances are controlled and sound over the summer following great work from Neil, Teresa and many others to stabilise our financial position. However, we have many variables and uncertainties for next season, some of which I have outlined previously. Our relationships with our sponsors remain strong and they are committed to our club but they, like the rest of us, cannot predict their business futures. So if our membership numbers stay strong and our sponsor income remains solid, we have aspirations for another strong and entertaining season ahead of us.
At our meeting last week we also agreed to postpone the AGM provisionally until Sept and decided to host a Zoom Members Forum on Wed, July 8th at 7.30pm. Officers will give brief updates, Nigel will talk rugby and we shall encourage members to post questions prior to the event. It is intended also that evening to undertake the Tigerturf Raffle Draw and announce winners of our wonderful array of prizes generously donated by businesses and members.
By the time of the draw and forum, our new facility will be completed with work hopefully finished end of June. May I take this opportunity to thank everyone who has bought raffle tickets and made generous donations to this highly valued club and community asset, your contributions are greatly appreciated.
We have all been affected by these unprecedented events over recent months, loved ones lost, our working lives transformed, family and social interactions changed, but we must plan ahead. Personally, my son was due to get married this bank holiday weekend and now new plans are in place for next spring. Let us all look forward to watching and playing rugby back at Dry Leas again.
May I on behalf of the management team wish you a sunny and enjoyable Bank Holiday weekend and hope to see you in the near future.