Burnage Committee Briefing. Update on our response to Corona Virus

On Wednesday 18 March I called and emergency meeting of the Burnage RFC committee (whilst we were still allowed to do so) to consider the immediate and mid-term actions we need to take in response to the unprecedented challenges posed by Corona Virus (Covid 19)

Further to my earlier postings we have been monitoring RFU and Government guidelines and reacting as fast as we can to changes required to ensure that our staff, members, visitors and facilities clients are safe and well informed.

The following actions will now be taken.

The Club House will now be closed and all functions and gatherings (all of which have already been cancelled) will not proceed for the immediate future. We are currently aligning this to the current RFU guidance that suggests the season may still return from April 14th and it is our expectation to get back to full service if and when this happens.

Our full-time staff will continue to be paid and where possible complete work from home or complete maintenance and security tasks where no interaction with the public is required for the immediate future unless government guidelines dictate otherwise.

Part time and casual staff that we rely on so much at busy periods have been asked to stand down and have been informed of this decision, but it is my hope that we can get them all back to work as soon as possible and get our club back to the being the hub of the community once more.

The financial impact of closing the club for what could be a longer period will be significant and Paul Wilson and myself are investigating the full range of promised government help and regular payment deferments we can take to mitigate losses at his time.

Certain maintenance projects that were planned in the next month including deep clean of the 3g and additional work on the golf course have been postponed and House and Grounds Chairman, Richard Cowley will look to reschedule these at the earliest time possible, when funds and revenues can support them.

It is not thought at this time that loss of earning insurance covers the circumstance of Corona virus, so we are on our own in terms of bridging the gap! 

A significant source of our Spring / Summer revenues are the Car Boot sales. These were scheduled to start on April 12th but because of restrictions on public gatherings of over 500 people, these will not go ahead or get their 2020 start until we are permitted to do so as guided by the government authorities.

We have two significant events planned for Rugby club members. April 18th is the Old Boys lunch and the scheduled game against Wilmslow. This remains in suspension and subject to the RFU’s decision to recommence the league or not on April 14th. We will continue a watching brief on this and make a final decision in the weeks ahead.

May 1st was scheduled to be the End of Season Club Dinner and AGM. This must now also be considered under threat on multiple counts. If the Coronavirus protocols are still in place we will not be able to hold the event. If the RFU reignite the league on April 14th we will be required to play fixtures on Saturday May 2 as they will extend the league meaning players would not be available for the club dinner. Again, we continue to take a watching brief on this and will make a final decision closer to the time.

In light of all the above the committee propose that we suspend the AGM until September 2020 and the start of the new season. The current officers including myself as Chairman and Paul Wilson as Treasurer (both Directors of Burnage RFC Limited), Rick Cowley, Mike Crawley, Paul Bartlett, Mike Thomas, Mark Trehearne, Scott Redmund, Jim Williams will remain in post until such time as a full and proper AGM can be held and any changes can be made through the normal voting procedures.

These are strange times and I want to thank the Margaret Hilton, President and the whole committee on behalf of all of the membership for their support, collective wisdom and commitment to our club.

I suspect that we are more fortunate than some of our peers in North West rugby and my thoughts and concerns are for all amateur community sports clubs in what will be a very challenging few months. I hope that all players and members of all affected clubs can come together and see it through without losing clubs to closure.

Keep safe and keep six feet away.

Steve Willock

Chairman

Burnage RFC

COVID 19 UPDATE

As an England Rugby Accredited Club we are following our governing bodies guidance in regards to COVID-19. At present there is no change in advice regarding sporting events, following the Governments Statement on Thursday 12th March 2020 in regards to the “Delay phase”; so league and cup games as well as Mini & Junior fixtures or training will continue for this weekend. Please visit the England Rugby website for full details: –

https://www.englandrugby.com/news/article/important-update-for-clubs–coronavirus-covid19

There is lots of information available on COVID-19 but it is recommended you follow NHS England Guidance for information about the virus and how to protect yourself and others, please see the link below: –

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

For the latest information the Government on COVID-19 please visit: –

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public

PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING IN LINE WITH CURRENT GOVERNMENT ADVICE

ANY PLAYER ACROSS THE CLUB FROM SENIORS DOWN TO MINIS, MEMBERS AND VISTORS TO BURNAGE RFC WHO HAVE A TEMPERATURE OF 37.8 DEGREES CENTIGRADE OR HIGHER OR DEVELOP A ‘PERSISTENT COUGH’ MUST SELF ISOLATE FOR 7 DAYS. CONTINUE WITH REGULAR AND THOROUGH HANDWASHING AND USE HAND SANITISER WHERE POSSIBLE. USE TISSUES TO CATCH COUGHS AND SNEEZES THEN DISPOSE PROPERLY AND WASH HANDS. IMPORTANT:

If we perceive any club attendee to have a persistent cough or temperature we will ask you to return home and stay away for at least 7 days; if your condition deteriorates or you are worried about your symptom of other members of your household during this time please seek advice in the first instance on-line via the NHS 111 Service via the link below: –

https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19/

Please also play your part and share the World Health Organisations #SafeHands challenge:

https://twitter.com/WHO/status/1238404251933704193/video/1

Thank you for your cooperation. It is very important that we work together and all follow government advice closely. Burnage RFC will continue to monitor the situation and update when further advice is released.

And so the Rugby Season ends…

Blimey, that was exciting. If it wasn’t for the fact that we came so close to relegation I would have to say that 2018/19 season was one of the best festivals of rugby I’ve been involved in my 35 years at Burnage RFC.

The financial shenanigans at National 3 and above now seem a distant past and I fear that the honour and excitement of competitive amateur rugby is lost at level 5 for most of us running grass roots clubs. Something that is proven with both Wilmslow and Vale of Lune returning to level 6 next year after just one season.

But that’s all OK. Look at the rugby we have all enjoyed at North 1 West for the last 8 months. Ours has been the most competitively fought level 6 league in the UK and I have to say that my commiserations go out to our friends and neighbours at Manchester, who did claim the last relegation slot going down with a whopping 62 points in the company of Anselmians and De La Salle who mustered only 20 points between them!

Lessons learned, it means our preparations for next year must be practically perfect in every way. Bring it on.

We lost to Broughton Park in our last game of the season on Saturday, a team that has shown ruthless efficiency since their promotion in 2018, the best defensive record and a strong attacking force up front all season, and a beacon for us to follow if we want to stay out of the dog fight again next year. Congratulations to them for a great season.

Somewhat inevitably the honours went to Carlisle for automatic promotion with a huge 105 points, with Blackburn entering the play offs also meeting the 100 point barrier. Good luck to both sides next season wherever they end up.

On behalf of Burnage RFC I would like to thank everyone that has been involved this year. Dave Muckalt and his coaching and Chloe’s medical teams have been brilliant and have managed player welfare at the highest level throughout the season, managing injuries (we’ve had a few!) and player rehab professionally with long term vision rather than short term fixes. Scotty as First Team manager, Rob Wellock as DOR and Mark Trehearn as fixtures secretary have all done a brilliant job too, making Burnage a great place to come and play rugby.

I would like to say a special thank you to Ralph Lawson, who after 5 years as Club Captain has decided to step down to concentrate on his own impressive game. He has been an inspirational leader as well as a quite brilliant player. I’ll take one out of two for another few seasons please Ralph and look forward to seeing you in the Burnage shirt again next year.

Ralph Lawson

And another great note of thanks to Jim Williams, who stepped back in from retirement to shore up our front row this season, and who steps back to the biscuit tin of retirement in 2019. Thanks Jim.

Jim Williams

IMPORTANT: THE AGM IS FRIDAY 3 MAY AT 7.00PM

Its not quite over yet. The Club Dinner and AGM will be held at the clubhouse on 3rd May. This is an important celebration to close our year and I urge all players and members to join us for both the AGM (your vote counts) and the dinner that follows. Please let your captains, the club house or Billy Dowdall (if you are an old fart) that you are coming.

Now time for a lie down.

Steve Willock

Chairman