The progress that we have been making over the past few seasons as a club has now been given added life to by the confirmation that we have obtained planning permission from the local authorities to build a new clubhouse. Club members have been waiting for a long time to feel the realistic prospect of replacing our tired, although beloved, accommodation and we are now presented with a unique opportunity to build a clubhouse that reflects the character and personality of the club and its members. I sincerely hope that over the next 12 – 18 months as many of you as possible will be able to contribute in one way or the other to our future.
Ahead of us, we have the responsibility of raising enough money to realise this ambition. We have made a good start over the last couple of years with more activity at the club and tremendous engagement by players, friends and families, as well as strict financial discipline. But we have much more to do and we will be approaching all members of the club to ask how best you may be able to help. This may be by gifting money, taking part in fund raising events but also by joining in with the groundwork that will need to be done. We will listen to all ideas with an open mind and use the efforts ahead of us to add even more cohesion and unity to what is already a very friendly, family oriented club.
We must never lose sight of the outcome of what we are all determined to achieve – creating a rugby club that offers the opportunities of playing, training, learning coaching and contributing to the game that brings us all together. It is a genuine thrill to be at the club at weekends and see players of all ages – under 5 to over 60 – engaged in the skills and combat that are unique to rugby. Sustaining and improving our 1st team league position in South East 3 is a top priority, and to do so we need to give as much support as possible to continuing to build strength at 2nd and 3rd team levels. The Vets have their own place in these building blocks as offering the chance to ‘keep on going’ retains the expertise and experience that other teams can learn from.
Mini and junior rugby have been the bedrock of the club for several years now and CRFC believes that promoting rugby from the youngest ages is an essential ingredient to our long-term success. We have tremendous support from the families who join the club and a core group of coaches that is remarkable for a club of our side. Just as important to us as the development of skills in our younger members is their health and safety, and their growing into young men and women who will be an example to our community as a whole. We take our position and responsibilities in the town and local areas very seriously.
I look forward to seeing you all on the touchline during the season, and working with as many of you as possible to turn our dream of a clubhouse fit for all members and their friends and families into a reality.
David W. Clark