Truro RFC Communication Newsletter July 3rd 2020
Introduction – Truro RFC Update – General
It has been approximately 6 weeks since the last communication so, first of all, apologies for the relatively long gap between that update and this one. You could say a lot has happened in those weeks but not really in comparison to what was normality prior to CV-19.
England is gearing up for this weekend and the day that is being dubbed “Super Saturday”. This term used to be reserved for days when Team GB bagged multiple Olympic gold medals, or is the annual term provided for the closing round of matches in the Six Nations Championship, but this time it has been borrowed by the hospitality industry and the day that pubs, clubs and restaurants can re-open.
1 of 3 – Truro RFC Update – Social / Welfare
In light of “Super Saturday”, there have been numerous questions asked regarding when TRFC and, in particular, the clubhouse will be open again for business. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the answer is NOT YET.
Whilst it may make economic sense, in fact close to an economic necessity, to open those businesses that have a primary focus on hospitality, it does not make sense for a rugby club (at least ours) to do so without active rugby on site.
In normal times, the off season are fallow months with regard clubhouse activity, where we aim to keep a steady flow of income through external bookings and other social activities, but even then that does not cover our underlying baseline costs.
Through the CV lockdown, and especially with the help of the furlough scheme, we have been able to control our baseline costs to an absolute minimum, required for long term survival. Opening the club, with limited footfall and limited flow through the beer pumps, would increase those baseline costs again and the potential for liquid wastage, without the ability to improve our cash inflows commensurately.
For the time being, until rugby returns, or at least until we have a clearer understanding of when community rugby is likely to restart, the decision has been made for the clubhouse to remain closed.
We understand that this is, as much of lockdown has been, a frustration, as it would be lovely to let off a bit of steam and have a pint with your mates, even if it has to be behind a plastic screen. We, as a Board share that frustration, and want to be able to open up to normality again as soon as we can. However, that needs to be done in the right way at the right time, so that we can then celebrate last year’s achievements with a proper party, but that will only be done when socially responsible to do so
The clubhouse will be ready for action with preparations being made for a sanitised environment, and Frankie is chomping at the bit to get back to work, but we will still also have to get the cellar prepared and restocked, and now is not the right time to do that.
We will continue to monitor the situation but you can be reassured that when we can open, safely and economically, then we will do so, and the message will be put out to you all accordingly.
From previous messages you will recall that the TRFC had been a satellite CV-19 testing site since the beginning of May. With the potential for some limited reinstatement of rugby activity, those testers need to find another site that can provide a longer-term stability of operation, so the current arrangement at St. Clement’s Hill is now coming to an end. However, they have been extremely grateful and appreciative of the two months that we have been able to provide for them.
Finally, the repeated mantra of the messages that we have put out to date, we hope that all are remaining safe and well and remember that if anybody in the TRFC family should require anything, absolutely anything, then the main contact channel should be through our safeguarding officer – TimBrocklebank@gmail.com
So, as lockdown restrictions are eased, and the first small steps back into a social normality are taken, please remember and adhere to the guideline restrictions that remain in place.
In the meantime, BE RESPONSIBLE & KIND, stay fit & healthy, STAY ALERT & SAFE.
2 of 3 – Truro RFC Update – Rugby
Some, maybe most, of you will be aware that the RFU has published a roadmap for the return to the community rugby game.
That roadmap sets out a series of stages, from A through to F, where various conditions need to be satisfied to allow each stage of the roadmap to be opened up, culminating in stage F which is the return to match play at the community level.
Clubs and administrators have been advised to be prepared to remain on a certain stage for some considerable time until conditions are met but similarly that, given appropriate improvements to other conditions, there is a possibility that progression through multiple stages at one time could be possible.
Currently we are on stage B. This stage allows a maximum of 6 people to train as a group at any one time, socially distanced, no contact, no face to face, and with equipment sharing kept to an absolute minimum. If there are to be more that 6 at any one time, then separate pods should be formed (maximum of 6 in any pod), and those pods adequately distanced from each other.
Across the whole of TRFC (seniors, colts, youth, minis, ladies, girls, touch [or in this case, “non-touch”]), you will now see groups training in their pods at various sites in and around the greater Truro area. This is positively encouraged to prepare the whole of the pitch-active membership to progress towards and through the next stages and, ultimately, rugby reboot. All groups should complete a risk assessment which should then be sent to Tim Brocklebank to be retained on file.
The 2020/21 rugby season may be very different to others in the past, and the RFU are preparing for different scenarios as to how the season may look. Without a clear start date, they have to be prepared for the alternatives, and also maybe for some sort of truncated season once again. The RFU will continue to monitor and update the member clubs accordingly.
The RFU is also currently consulting on another potential restructure / reshuffle of the leagues for 2021/22, aiming to introduce smaller more regionalised leagues to reduce cost burdens. Again, the RFU will continue their work in this area and update the member clubs of any changes and how it may impact on them.
So, we still have no promise of when rugby will return, but you can be assured that when we get the nod, Truro RFC will be ready across the whole spectrum of teams, and let’s see how that 1st XV push for back to back promotion.
3 of 3 – Truro RFC Update – Governance / Finance / Business
The club’s AGM has now been formally been delayed as we wish to be able to hold this as a physical meeting rather than an online / virtual meet. Provided we hold our AGM before the end of the calendar year then we will remain legally compliant, so we will keep our membership updated as we move through unlocking lockdown.
Accounts are in a draft stage and, when they are made public, despite the CV-crisis and the impact that has had on many businesses and sports clubs, they will show the club to be in a good financial position with regards the year’s performance and cash / working capital / reserves.
However, as we move out of lockdown into what will be a new normality for running hospitality businesses and sports clubs, and we lose CV-assistance, there will be an inevitable increase in costs as those businesses will have to operate under far stricter regimes regarding hygiene & other social distancing controls and measures.
Whilst this is not what people will want to hear, there is a strong likelihood that membership costs will have to increase to be able to help cover some of these cost increases. Nothing is decided yet, because so much remains unknown, but we feel that it is better to put that message of expectation out there in advance.
Members would normally have been informed by now of TRFC’s allocation of, and the application process for, tickets for the Autumn Internationals at Twickenham. As rugby is currently in limbo, the whole process has been delayed. If games do go ahead, the chances of 82,000 people being allowed into Twickenham are very slim, but it is not clear whether the matches will be behind closed doors at worst or under social distancing at best. Either way, the likelihood is a reduction in the club’s ticket allocation, but we will keep the membership updated as and when we know more.
Major works have been carried out on the 2nd pitch in an attempt to improve the playing surface for next season. We have already had some heavy June rainfall to provide an initial test, but only when we have a sustained period of autumn/winter rain will we know how successful the work has been, but early signs are good.
Truro RFC continues to try and operate as your amateur club run in a professional manner, so in the meantime, if there are any queries, please contact the club through the contact details on its website and we will endeavour to answer them ASAP.
Carl Price, Truro RFC Chairman / Truro RFC Board of Directors