Firstly I hope you, your loved ones and families are all safe and well in these challenging times.
At the time I was encouraged to take up the position of chairman and the trusted group of long standing club members now on the committee accepted their roles, we could never have imagined how the 2020/21 season would play out. We have now reached the point where the season has been truncated and unrecognisable to what I’d have hope for. To this end I thought I would bring you up to speed on the position of the club financially, socially and make you aware of the prospect of the start of the season anytime soon.
For those of you who no longer feel the need to train, due to age, fitness, or lethargy, and are not aware of the RFU guidance, the provisional date set by the RFU for the season to commence has now been put back to January 2021 at the earliest, and with the Covid infection rate continuing to rise in many parts of the country this may prove to be very optimistic. However, training continues to be well supported with good numbers at all sessions for both men and women. Without the normal focus on a start of the season, Gareth, Mark and their coaching teams have looked to keep the sessions interesting and varied, giving all the chance to use the time to hone and develop skills that will pay dividends when the real action starts. The junior section is also showing good numbers at both their Wednesday and Sunday training sessions. Also, I hope you are all aware of and, if not participating, will be supporting the intra club touch tournament taking place this Saturday the 24th October.
From a financial point of view, the club has implemented a number of cost saving measures as you would expect, and will look to maintain tight controls to ensure any expenditure continues brings value for money. Through the efforts of Lesley and Jamie the club has also secured good sources of income from clubhouse hire away from the normal larger non-club social events, which are for the short-term and are not allowed with current restrictions. This valued source of income, along with the continued support of the playing and social membership, means the club remains in a solidly viable, but limited financial position.
So for the rest of the ‘season’ it goes without saying rugby, particularly playing the game and socialising, is a diversion we all need desperately. With this in mind, last Saturday the club opened its doors for a low-key test event, screening Exeter’s fine win in becoming the European Champions. Following the success of the first event, the club will now look to stage a number of larger events in order to bring the PRFC family together, and importantly put some revenue into the club coffers.
A more detailed program of events will be published next week which will look to build the clubs activity up running into the end of 2020, which will hopefully be a playing and social pre-season for when playing restarts in January. In the meantime, here is a heads-up that the club is intending to be open for “Super Saturday” on the 31st October and will be screening the final round five 6 nations games. If you are concerned that you may not get in due to the Covid restrictions on numbers please contact Jamie Allen on 07786 446 604 to book a place.
Finally, at the core of Portsmouth Rugby Football Club has always been community and family, and as we go through the next few difficult months this must be even more so. We are all handling the current restriction and challenges in our own way, but no one must feel isolated. If you or you know anyone who needs support, please make myself or the committee aware. Whether it's support to take that first step back to training, walk through into the club for a beer or just a chat, PRFC will be there.