Update from the Board - Stirling County RFC

Dear Members,

I am sending this message on behalf of your board. I know how keen you are to get back to rugby and your Clubhouse and so I wanted to communicate with you to keep you abreast of the reopening plans.

Last week, Lorne highlighted that Joey Crozier, our COVID coordinator, was leading a team of talented volunteers to produce COVID 19 risk assessments to ensure that when we did open it would be safe to do so. I am therefore delighted to inform you that because Joey and his team were confident that we could reopen Bridgehaugh for outdoor rugby training for individual playing groups starting with our Super6 squad, SCRFC welcomed some of our rugby players back on Tuesday 21st July to participate in voluntary fitness training. I’m sure that you will agree that this was a cause for celebration.

This provides the Club with an excellent opportunity to test and refine all of our new processes and procedures ahead of our youth and senior squads getting back into training. We anticipate this re-starting on Tuesday 18th August 2020 for our senior men and youth and women players will hopefully be back week commencing 24th August. This of course is all dependent on progress with lockdown restrictions.

We now have a team of COVID leads and we are planning a meeting in early August, (after the next government announcements and SRU roadmap announcements) to talk through the processes and get all squads up to speed prior to training recommencing.

Unfortunately and regrettably The Clubhouse will remain shut for the time being, which will include no access to the toilets. I will let you know; when we think we can safely reopen our doors and let me reassure you, everyone is keen for this to be as soon as it is practical and ultimately safe to do so. It is imperative that as a club, we start to generate income again to allow us to get back to what we do best, play rugby, develop talent and support the community.

So last week, Lorne brought you up to speed with some of the activities behind the scenes, and he highlighted it would take a significant effort to make Bridgehaugh safe for rugby and to get the Clubhouse reopened.

I would now like to ask you for this support.

We must start to collect membership fees again because this is a vital financial lifeline for the Club and so if you want to play we need you to pay! I understand that this may be financially challenging for some of you, so please get in touch with me, and we can discuss this individually.

It has been tough financially, and this will be no surprise to you as we are all living through this experience together. Our Club, like so many other businesses, has not been able to generate those much-needed revenues through our events, our hires, our bars or our hospitality offerings. If we want to get through these tough times, we need to generate income and fundraise as we have never fundraised before!

The challenge is that we need to open our doors fully. In order, to open our doors we will need to spend money to make the Club safe, to freshen it up, to make it look proud again and to make it a place where people want to spend their time. It should be a place where brides want to get married, a place where you would be happy to hold your birthday parties and other celebrations.

Because the Club has been in hibernation, it is looking tired and sad, and I know, like me, you would like to do something to brighten it up again. Our preparations for reopening will cost money. As soon as we open our doors, we will lose our agreed holidays with our suppliers, our insurers, our utility suppliers, to name just a few. To stay afloat financially, we desperately need to raise money. We, therefore, need to ask all members who are willing and able to help us out either in cash or kind.

If you have spare time, a willing heart and an able body, please let me know, and I will let you know how we are going to coordinate a members movement to bring our Club back to its former glory.

I also wanted to let you know that the Club has set an ambitious fundraising target of £50,000 and your Club needs you.

We are looking for members to volunteer to join our Fundraising Group to bring your ideas, your creativity, your energy and your passion so that we can thrash this target. By generating additional Fundraising, this will help us to get onto a better financial footing and provide the time for the economy to recover. So, when people have more money to spend and are feeling more confident again, they will start to rebook our hospitality packages and bring income into the Club.

The great thing is and something we should be incredibly proud of is that we are phenomenal at Fundraising. Just think of the number of funds you have been able to raise in the past to maintain the Club, to help it to grow and to send our kids off on tours. Tours which provided great experiences and brilliant memories. If you have the skills, talent, energy and contacts to do that, then I am asking you to do this again, redirect that activity to preserving SCRFC as a whole.

If you would like to get behind this initiative, please get in touch, and I will let you know the plans to get this Fundraising Group off the ground.

Getting involved, even in a small way, will make a huge difference, it will save your Club and make us stronger and better connected than ever. Remember every single penny that we make will go directly back into your Club for the benefit of our players, regardless of their age, keeping them fit and healthy, developing careers and supporting our community.

I look forward to hearing from you, and I know together we will make County the best rugby club in Scotland.

John Gibson

Vice President

Membership Communication from the Board is available for download here