Welcome to the first edition of Under the Posts, a monthly newsletter designed to provide information about upcoming club events, reports & articles about the past month and various statements & interviews from all parts of the club. The newsletter will cover every part of Crewkerne RFC, from the Under 7s all the way up to the Veterans side.
Covid-19 has really thrown the usual operations of the club, with our First Team finding themselves promoted despite having a quarter of the season left to play. The club has adapted well to the regulations in place, led by the innovative Ladies Team who have been regularly training on Zoom.
Keeping up with the Men
After the above mentioned promotion in April, the senior men’s side of the club has been undergoing a restructure behind the scenes. Newly appointed Men’s Head of Rugby (HoR) Phil Broom and Head Coach Gavin Simpson have been under pressure from all of the men’s sides to get training started. After many hours of preparation, Phil restarted training, socially distanced, on the 30th July, and at the time of writing this, two sessions have been completed with a good number of First’s, Second’s, Vet’s and Colts participating.
Rebranding the 2nds
Switching to off the field matters, earlier in the month it was decided that our Men’s Second Team was to undergo a rebranding as they enter Somerset 3 in the upcoming season. The rebrand is currently being voted on before it heads to committee for approval, watch this space for the announcement.
After a very successful first fixture playing season, Head Coach Ashley Smith and Ladies’ HoR Emma Nebel have expanded the coaching and management team for the females. Coaches Roo Stainton and Jamie Gosling have been brought in, with Roo being a New Players Coach and Jamie coaching our talented backs. Ralph, the other addition, is in the set up as the new team manager, who will be supporting Emma and Ash throughout the season.
As mentioned at the start, many of the Ladies’ side have continued training throughout lockdown over Zoom, where they have been partaking in rugby related interval training: keeping themselves fit for the upcoming season. In addition to the Zoom training, personalised running challenges were being set each week, encouraging the girls to try and improve their own running pace and distance from one week to the next. Once lockdown measures had been relaxed, the Ladies’ swapped the running challenges for Rugby Relay events, where they are running in groups of six to help motivate each other and to provide the social element of training missed during lockdown. Following the Men’s return to training, the Ladies’ have decided to start socially distance training from the 17th August.
Age Grade Antics
With age grade rugby being governed very differently to senior rugby, preseason training does not take place and will likely not return until the RFU relaxes regulations and Age Grade rugby fixtures are announced. In the meantime, Age Grade HoR Simon Shackleford has been using this time to prepare and has managed to continue the juniors relationship with Wadham School, training there on Sundays to help preserve the main Henhayes pitch.
Despite the lack of training, one junior member of the club is determined to stay fit and do his bit at the same time. Under 11 Euan Stafford has been fundraising for Yeovil District Hospital to help fund a Breast Cancer Unit in the hospital. Euan has run the combined distance of three marathons in six weeks to help with the appeal. The details of his just giving page can be found below:
Statement from the Chairman
These last months have been challenging to say the least with family, work and Club commitments. I really do hope that some semblance of normality is beginning to return to all your lives? I wanted to take the time to update you all on where we are currently as a club, share some good news and thank you for your continuing support. I think for our playing members the most important news is our plans to Return to Rugby. Team managers /HoR’s will keep you all updated on the date and the conditions under which training will operate. I know the various committee members directly involved with playing are working hard to prepare a plan with advice from the RFU and Somerset to prioritise a safe return, so please keep an eye out for further information and guidelines in the near future.
I am pleased to inform our members that we have been able to pay our bills and hopefully will be in a reasonably stable position to return to normality however that looks in the future. Again, my personal thanks go to our committee who have worked hard behind the scenes to get us into this position. We are hoping that we will be able to avoid any membership subscription increases as we understand as a Club that many of our members have been financially stretched over this period, and it seems inappropriate to add to the list of money worries. To avoid a general increase, we are reviewing all membership grades it is possible that some of the benefits certain levels of membership provide may be lost for the greater good, this could include those coaching at the Club and in some instances some concession or restricted memberships, again I stress where possible we will try to minimise this impact.
There are many unsung heroes that work hard behind the scenes to make Crewkerne RFC a great place to enjoy rugby. These people are still very busy making sure that things are ready to go when we can recommence the game. As a club we have: developed new training facilities and equipment, including investing in the PPE and sanitising kit required to be covid-secure. We continue to carry out extensive pitch maintenance at Henheyes including the levelling out of many of the lumps and bumps you all love! and we are currently working with the council to ensure that Henhayes/The GRC provides what we need as the club grows. In addition, we are looking at additional RFU training and coach education/resource as well as rolling out an App called Spond which will be the clubs team management tool. Hopefully, when the season starts, the rugby experience at Crewkerne will be even more enjoyable than before!!
It is good to hear about so many club members doing their bit to keep fit during lockdown. It is really important for me that players of all ages work on all aspects of their fitness including mental fortitude. This season, the club will have more teams in leagues on other official competitions than it has in a decade, and all players involved need to make sure that they prepare as we get ready for rugby again soon. If anyone (including parents) is unsure on what to do to get ready, please contact your coach or look at the England rugby website. As part of the new committee, we have a welfare team that includes all ages - If anyone needs to speak to them, please contact email@example.com
Our new training ground is (conveniently) located at the Windwhistle Inn. We will soon be announcing some social events where you can reconnect with other members and enjoy the hospitality offered at the “Windy” – the family that run it are super-keen rugby players/coaches and are very happy to support the club any way they can. At one such event, we will be asking you to re-join the club for another year. Please keep an eye on your emails sent from GMS on how and when this will happen.
In the meantime, enjoy your summer, keep fit, and stay safe.
Dates for the Diary:
13/08 - Next Men’s training session
- 17/08 - First Ladies’ training session
- 05/09-06/09 - NatWest RugbyForce Weekend - details to follow