Dear OLRFC Member,
Further to my mail of 19th November the announcement from the RFU that Community Rugby would restart from 18th December was very welcome news and since that time the Club has been working hard to fully understand the overall implications for the Club taking into account the detailed guidelines and how it impacts on the Club House bearing in mind we are in Tier 3.
The good news is that we have signed up to play adaptive ( principally no scrums & mauls ) rugby in our cluster group and the fixtures at Fenley Field have been confirmed as follows with the intention being that the Club will play at 1st,2nd/3rd and Colts level home and away.
- 16th January 2021 – Old Coventrians 1st XV
- 23rd January 2021 – Spartans 1st XV
- 30th January 2021 – Pinley 2nd XV
- 6th February 2021 – Barkers Butts 1st XV
- 13th February 2021 – Nuneaton Old Eds 2nd XV
- 20th February 2021 – Spartans 2nd XV
- 27th February 2021 – Pinley 1st XV
- 6th March 2021 – Barkers Butts 2nd XV
- 13th March 2021 – Nuneaton Old Eds 1st XV
- 20th March 2021 – Old Coventrians 2nd XV
Please get those dates in your diary but bear in mind that whilst Warwickshire remains in Tier 3 no spectators will be allowed. The 6 Nations will recommence on 6th February and if the Club House is open we will look to arrange socials linked to the England games and our fixtures and we will keep you notified as the Government regulations/guidelines are relaxed or tightened in the coming weeks/months.
In terms of the Club House I attach the Quick Reference Guide produced by the RFU and you will know we have re-opened our Gym because we have a strict code of conduct and cleaning regime with no more than 4 members. The detailed guidance in relation to rugby training and playing is that social mixing before and after is to be limited with strict arrival and departure times of no more than 30 minutes and 15 minutes respectively with players being encouraged to arrive changed and shower at home where possible. Based on that guidance we have taken the decision to keep the Club House completely closed until Warwickshire returns to Tier 1. We are not a provider of substantial meals and the grim reality is that socialising within our Club House particularly with a roaring log fire is in terms of Covid-19 more dangerous than playing full contact rugby.
In the interim, we will open the male toilets as a gender neutral facility which will be managed/supervised and cleaned by a commercial company which will ensure the security of the Club House but more importantly the safety and welfare of our members, opposition teams, match officials and spectators when allowed. The routine will be one in one out with mask wearing and use of the soap and sanitisers which we provide.
Until the Club House is open the changing rooms and showers will remain closed and we are currently undertaking some necessary work on the water system and will publish the reduced numbers of places in each changing room and shower block when we re-open.
The M&J’s returned to training last week as did the Senior club and we intend to hold inter-club adaptive Rugby games on 19th December which will involve the opening of the toilets but unless the Tier level for Rugby changes no spectators will be allowed. All players/officials will be required to register utilising the QR code which will be displayed on the Club House and the entrance gate.
As you will see whilst we are returning to playing Rugby it will be a different experience and environment but we hope that these are the initial steps of getting back to normality but we need to continue to put the safety and security of our members as our priority at the present time.
We are planning to hold a VP’s Lunch when we can and similarly to restart the Griffin Club lunches and Dave Eales & Pam Jones will be in touch with the members and we will be looking to provide both events at no cost in recognition of the support from both groups. Since my earlier note both players and VP’s have come forward to pay their subscriptions and your continued support is greatly appreciated.
In terms of the Centenary Dinner we have provisionally booked 15th May 2021 with both the School and the caterers and obviously that will be reviewed as matters develop over the coming months. All members who initially booked and paid in 2020 will have priority and we will keep everyone updated.
For those of you not on Facebook I attach a picture the RFU distributed as part of the “Show your Shirt” initiative at Twickenham for the Autumn Nations Cup which prominently displays our Shirt alongside the RFU Leadership team. Some pleasing recognition of the Club – we really do walk on water !!
Whilst it is perhaps an overused phrase we are in unprecedented times but may I wish all of you as happy a Christmas as possible. Spend time with your family if you can and please look forward with optimism to a better 2021. Thank you for your continued support of the Club and I hope to see you soon.