First and most importantly, I hope you are well and keeping safe in what is a very difficult time for us all.
In adversity we have seen some tremendous positivity shown in many ways – particularly to our NHS and key workers. Our recent video of Westcliff players of all ages saying “ Thank You “ to those workers was moving and well done Henry Morrant for putting it together. If you haven’t already seen this you can do so at: https://youtu.be/kN6eTD_mYXs
We have, as a club, considered the best way to support the NHS and keyworkers and as there are so many fundraising sites already in operation we decided not to start another – we would encourage any of our members that are able to offer financial support to visit www.harpsouthend.org.uk , Southends leading homeless charity that has Covid – 19 emergency appeal and to remember our good friend Noel Kelleway who did so much for the HARP Homeless Charity .
The Club’s Executive would like to show our gratitude and be able to say Thank You to our NHS and other keyworkers. It is looking at a number of possibilities to include inviting members and people connected with the Club working within the care sector who have provided so much dedicated time and effort during this terrible crisis. Further details and suggestions will follow in due course..
Despite the challenges faced with the COVID-19 crisis, the Club’s Executive Committee has continued to function, albeit “virtually”. A lot has happened in the last few weeks and I would like to provide the following update. .
I am pleased to report that despite the devastating financial impact that COVID-19 has caused many rugby and other sports clubs, the Club’s finances are in a fairly sound position. In part, this is due to prudent management in building up reserves but also some fantastic and extremely generous sponsorship. Nevertheless the lack of any income for the foreseeable future does mean that the Club will need to use monies that had been earmarked for projects to finish off and add to the already excellent facilities within our new Clubhouse.
On rugby matters I would first wish to send my heartfelt congratualtions to the Club’s 1st XV in securing Nat 2 rugby next season. The premature end to the season and the RFU formula used to establish the promotion and relegation positions throughout the leagues, in no way detracts from the magnificent achievement by all the players throughout the season who were part of the squad and contributed to this success. I am absolutely confident that we would have finished in our final league position or possibly higher had the season been played out to its conclusion. Undoubtedly our coaching team, led by Jacob Ford contributed to this success and it is therefore with great pleasure that I am able to announce that Jacob Ford will remain at Westcliff RFC as Head Coach and Director of Rugby next season. Jacob will be supported by in his role by our excellent coaching team of Jordan Turner-Hall, John Rudd, Kent Bray, Joe Vandermolen and Jackson Wray. There are few Club’s in either this league or indeed I would suggest in higher leagues who could boast such a talented and exciting line-up. We wish them all the best for another exciting season ahead, Coronavirus permitting!!
I am also pleased to confirm that Dash Allum is our new Minis Chairman and would like to take this opportunity to thank Tim Ablethorpe for his time in the role and good to see he is remaining as the U13’s Manager.
Whilst the current crisis continues it is impossible to predict with any certainty whether or not planned future events e.g. Aaron Lewis Foundation 10’s Tournament, will be able to take place. A date for the Club AGM will be announced as soon as possible but there is every likelihood this will need to be delayed well beyond the timeframe during which it would normally be held.
It only remains for me to say please stay safe, stay in and save lives and I look forward to seeing everyone back at Westcliff Rugby Club as soon as the Clubhouse is permitted to re-open..