Everyone is fully aware of the dramatic impact that the Coronavirus has had on our world, our lives, work and social activities, along with the serious concerns about the welfare of our vulnerable loved ones.
One of the things that brings us all together is Henley RFC, and we are not immune to these difficult times. With no rugby, no fundraising social events, our partners at Dry Leas are all affected, we are facing serious financial pressures, coupled with the welfare of our staff, our players and visitors to Dry Leas.
Last night the management team met to discuss our plans and objectives over the coming months, and how these will impact on everyone at the Club. We will endeavour to meet as regularly as we can to ensure that collectively, we manage the Club through this time and keep everyone informed.
I would like to recognise all the great work that has been done across the Club throughout this shortened season, with highlights including the National Rugby Award for our Kids First and Junior section, a strong promotion campaign for the Hawks, rejuvenated community and Women’s rugby, coupled with some outstanding social and fundraising events.
We are part of a special community here at Henley RFC, and it is important to look after each other. Over the coming months, the Club office will be closed with staff working from home, available still by email and phone, but each day someone from the management team will have a presence at the Club for a few hours as many of us will have to work from home for a period of time in line with government guidelines. We hope to keep the café, gym and physio clinic open unless advised differently, and the Tiger Turf will be available for small groups through Mary if you wish to exercise those pent-up children.
Talking of the Tiger Turf, we still intend to go ahead this summer with the new surface as we have secured our main fundraising, although we need to sell all our raffle tickets with members to secure the full funds. Thanks to everyone who has already bought some, but there are many more to sell. Age groups from KF&J’s, members, sponsors and everyone all need to support this project, we have secured about a third of the monies at the moment. You can also purchase tickets through the shop on the Club’s website, or make donations if you prefer.
Over the coming months, our finances will be under significant pressure, so we have adopted a number of cost saving measures and ways of securing much-needed funds. A major part of the cost-cutting will be achieved by the players and coaches across the Club agreeing to take little or no payment owed to them on their contracts. This wonderful gesture will help the viability of the Club significantly over the coming weeks. Other options were proposed last night, and we plan to implement measures as soon as possible to secure the future of our Club.
At some point in the future, and I hope not too far away, there will be good news. These are difficult times, but we will eventually look back at this time and talk about how we came through it together and stronger. Keep close and look after each other, stay well, try to stay positive and above all, take care.