Dursley Rugby Football Club
Club President, John Darlaston
Welcome to the 2020/21 season
In these unprecedented times, welcome to the sporting community that is Dursley Rugby Club. It comprises all aspects of rugby: men, ladies, mini and youth, male and female, league, cup, social, touch and walking rugby. In addition there is the Stragglers Cricket Club with mini, youth, men’s and women’s teams and Dursley Running Club. This means that that in ‘normal times around twelve hundred people are actively participating in sport at the Club! I hope you and your families are all staying safe.
With the complete shutdown of all activities for the closing months of last season, in true Dursley fashion the Club rose to the occasion. The Management Board acted promptly and produced a continuity plan covering all the issues from security through to financial resilience. This was very impressive in protecting all the assets and facilities of the Club. The return to normal plan was equally impressive and included important issues such as ground and club maintenance, retaining contact with the members and meeting the regulations for use of facilities and for sporting activities Just before lock down the Club had purchased a further six acres of land in the area behind the village and adjacent to the training paddock. During lock down this was fenced, hedging planted and the playing surface prepared. The area between the Changing Rooms and the gym, which had a few exercise items, was developed fully into an impressive outside gym and the development of the garden areas around the changing rooms was completed. The interior of the Clubhouse was redecorated and the ‘wow factor’ on entry restored. So, the lockdown period was very well spent. The Management Board, led by our Chairman Simon Bilous, and supported by others, must be congratulated on their organisation of the Club during lockdown and on the way they handled the return to normal. Meeting the changing directives to meet the government requirements and minimise risk was no mean feat.
The members have by no means been idle during the lockdown and the return to normal periods. Three major fundraising events have taken place. First a head shave to raise money for the NHS Charities, followed by 2 more events for the British Heart Foundation. Early in April, Ross Reeves the third team captain and coach of the colts died suddenly which triggered activities in his memory. A group of players climbed Snowdon which in itself would not be out of the ordinary except that the group just wore DRFC ‘budgie smugglers’. This not only raised money for the British Heart Foundation but was an excellent advert for the range of male and female underwear in the Club colours now available. The second event was the challenge of walking the Cotswold way from Chipping Camden to Bath in under 48 hours which they achieved with several hours to spare including a break in Dursley. It has been decided to extend these activities to a full year of charity fund raising.
At the time of writing it is hard to see how and when there will be a full return to the playing of rugby. The RFU has produced a five stage plan with the final stage being the restart of the Leagues for community rugby. Activities are underway at the Club with cricket and the running club progressing well and under strict control the bar and Clubhouse is being used more and more. The rate of return is of course dependant on what happens to the Covid-19 infection levels.
I hope you will all be encouraged to return to the Club for the various activities and events although you have to feel comfortable in doing so. In spite of the difficulties and problems created by Covid-19, the Club continues to go from strength to strength resulting from strong leadership, good governance, and pro-active management. We can all be proud of our Club
John Darlaston, Club President