Dear Member

I trust you are enjoying your summer and making the most of the very warm temperatures. As we approach the start of a new season, it’s time to update you with what has been happening since the end of last season.

CARD-ONLY BAR – Technology abounds in the clubhouse and from July, when paying for drinks, the bar is now card-only and CASH WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. If you are bringing friends or family, please ensure they are aware of this change.

NEW COACHING STAFF – our new management & coaching regime looks very exciting and we are confident and hopeful for the coming season.

Senior Men

1st XV – Managers – Mike ‘Bungle’ Bailey and Mike Caspall

2nd XV – Managers – Jordan Cracknell & Jerry Cracknell

3rd XV – Managers – Martin Lippee & Thomas McDermott

Valkyries – Manager – Jo Flexman; Mark Witcher - lead coach; Al Dyer - backs coach; Jordan Cracknell - forwards coach; Lou Langton - player/coach

SENIOR MEN’S LEAGUE STRUCTURE CHANGES FOR THE NEW SEASON – has been announced and is highlighted in detail elsewhere on the website. In short, the RFU has decided that to retain interest in the game and to reduce the costs for players and supporters, the leagues need to be more localised and this has been reflected in the fixture lists.

PRESIDENT’S PRE-MATCH LUNCHES – will continue to be held before every senior men’s 1st XV league match, commencing with Portsmouth vs Basingstoke on Saturday, 3rd September. Please contact Chalky White to book your place at 

This season, we intend to hold two senior men’s 2nd XV buffet lunches, for the first time, one in October, the other in March and a Valkyries/Ladies lunch on Saturday, 28th January. Details will be promulgated nearer the time. Our Past-Players Reunion Lunch will be held on Saturday, 18th February 2023.

HAMPSHIRE RFU - HONDA AWARDS NIGHT - JULY 2022 - Earlier this month, Havant RFC was the venue for the Hampshire RFU & Honda awards for season 2021/2022. We are delighted and proud to announce that Portsmouth RFC members and officers were to the fore in winning awards and receiving nominations. Special praise and a hearty well done is extended to Aaron Beesley who picked up the Fund Raiser of the Year award for his drive and determination in raising funds for Rugby Against Cancer! Well done, Aaron, keep up the good work!

Other club nominations were:

Gemma Skinner & Louise Morrow - Resilience in Rugby

Mark Witcher - Beyond Rugby

Ian Drew, Steve Walker & Symon Spence - Resilience in Rugby

Louise Morrow, Ian Skinner, Chris Morrow, Claire Harries & Matt Mitchell - Resilience in Rugby

Louise Morrow - Resilience in Rugby

Gemma Skinner & Ian Skinner – Resilience in Rugby - The following commendation was given to Gemma & Ian :

Over the last year, rugby has been really sporadic for the boys due to lockdowns. Gemma and Ian are manager and coach for the u14s and Gemma the junior club chair. They have worked tirelessly to create safe training sessions, workout videos, covid at home activities and keep the team motivated and together. They have gone above and beyond to ensure the boys are anxiety free returning, they have supported and role modelled for other teams to follow suit and they are absolute rocks for the wellbeing of those involved within the club. The income of the club has dropped over covid but Gemma's leadership as chair has ensured the club has thrived in community.

A lot of the boys that join rugby, have various health or social backgrounds that would be a risk factor for mental health. Add in the age that they are, with hormones and social challenges plus the strains that lockdown has, puts the risk of adverse impact on the boys as high. Gemma and Ian have really pushed about inclusivity, mental wellbeing and social encouragement for the boys. They regularly contact parents to check in, they provide a calm consistent within the covid storm. As a result, all boys returned to a nurturing environment where they can build not just rugby but resilience and social skills in a year that has really challenged them all.

The club continues to grow and the boys she supports truly thrive. Without the support of Gemma and Ian some of the boys would really be in different places. For some rugby is a lifeline.

There is no doubt that we are blessed with having the best Junior Section in the county and the above commendation sums up just how good we are. Please continue supporting all our coaches and managers from the Juniors, Colts, Senior men, Valkyries and Veterans this coming season.

Also, please do what you can to support us by attending matches and lunches. We are always looking for new sponsors. Can you help?

Yours in Rugby

Chalky White


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