General Managers Update

4 months ago

Outlook, Challenges and General News

Dear Supporters,

I hope you are well, it has certainly been a week like no other.

However, as a club we are proud to have been ahead of the curve in making the tough decision required to suspend all our activities, to minimise the spread and impact of the Corona Virus on the Randwick Family.

We did so to ensure the safety of our players, staff and our broader community. Eventually all codes followed suit – despite some being dragged kicking and screaming to do so.
Randwick Rugby was on the right side of history as we were challenged to be.

The Outlook:
Its almost criminal to be concerned with rugby outcomes, considering the magnitude of the events that have hit the world like an absolute thunderbolt and continues to strike.

If you and your loved ones are well, safe and still have a job, then it is indeed something to be extremely thankful for, in this, the new normal. Our heart goes out to everyone in our community and beyond impacted in whatever way. There appears to be so many.

Last week I referred to the fluidness of this situation and the fact that things were changing on the hour. To think since then that the NRL, AFL, NBA, EPL, US Masters, French Open, Super Rugby and now the Olympics are all off – it is hard to fathom.

Then to have our beaches and pubs closed last weekend – well that will do me - in terms of this global mess affecting our daily way of life!

Our Cancelled Activities and Events:
In Randwick Rugby’s immediate realm, we have also been hit hard, with many of our own activities curtailed as a result of the CV-19 chaos, as follows:

  • No playing of trials or Shute Shield Premiership Games for Colts and Grade teams until May 2 – at this stage.
  • Jeffrey Sayle Memorial Day and Ladies Day celebrations.
  • No Women’s or Junior teams playing or training.
  • Our Season Launch Event.
  • The Galloping Greens School Holiday Kids Camp on April 16.
  • Colts & Parents Dinner on May 2
  • Junior Academy Fundraising Lunch on May 22
  • Junior State Championships from June 6-8.
  • Randwick Annual Corporate Lunch on June 26

Presently May 1, was the earliest date Rugby Australia is indicating rugby activities could recommence, but that deadline is almost certain to move. The reality is that Club, Community or Junior Rugby won’t be back in operation until at least June, now at the very earliest and the Shute Shield and Junior seasons will need to be completely reconfigured.

All senior district clubs are working with Sydney Rugby Union (SRU) on various scenarios to try and ensure that a viable competition can be created at some point in 2020, if at all.

The Challenge:
So, we have disappointed players, coaches, staff, volunteers, sponsors and supporters at all levels, now that our rugby engagement opportunities have dried up.

All that hard offseason work seems wasted, but we are working hard to keep everyone going and checking in to ensure that they are OK. This period will be the ultimate test of the ‘tough times never last but tough people do’ adage. So far we are.

However, touch wood, at this point no-one in our club actually has the Corona Virus – unlike our friends at Sydney University. They have 2 players infected and the entire club in isolation, so we have sent our best wishes to them in dealing with it all. There's the true perspective in this.

There is no doubt however that the financial pressures on the club have escalated and tough decisions will need to be made in coming weeks to ensure our ongoing viability.

We are not immune from the pressures facing every other business, employer or on employees in this country at the moment and with no opportunities to generate revenue, without rugby games or events, we will need to reduce operating costs and staffing levels. It’s that simple.

General News:
Jim Houston Memorial Service Cancelled:
Sadly, the memorial service to celebrate the life of ex-Randwick player James ‘Jim’ Houston tomorrow on Friday, March 27, at OLSH Randwick has been CANCELLED.

Our thoughts and best wishes go out to Jim’s family – a difficult time, is even harder in the current circumstances. If Jim’s service is rescheduled, we will let you know. RIP Jim.

Randwick Petersham – First Grade Cricket Premiers:
From everyone at Randwick Rugby, huge congratulation to our brothers the ‘Randy Pete’s, on being crowned 2019-20 Belvidere Cup winners in the NSW Premier Cricket competition.

A wonderful achievement to be Minor Premiers and 11 points clear of 2nd place, with only 1 loss for the entire season and after finishing 18th the year prior. Now that’s a comeback!

Sadly their stellar season was only soured by losing the Poidevin Whitney Cup on March 8 in the annual Randwick Cricket v Randwick Rugby social cricket grudge match at Coogee Oval. A stewards inquiry has been called to understand how!

Accommodation – Flatmate Required:
A couple of our fine upstanding new Colts players are looking for a new flatmate at their
3-bedroom Kingsford house. Sadly, new colts’ players from overseas or the country have had to leave us to return home, due to employment opportunities drying up. This is one of the by-products of this crisis and the case in this instance.

Therefore, this luxurious room is available immediately and the boys need help to reduce their rental exposure. For more information please call Harvey Austin on 0447 213 513.

Support of Sponsors:
Whilst at the moment, we have nothing for our fans to support in a rugby sense, we would ask you if you have the means do so, to support our sponsors businesses.

Fortunately, we have some very loyal sponsors and our Randwick Rugby Foundation. Please pay a visit online to these organisations by clicking on their logo’s displayed below.
We thank them again sincerely, for sticking with us in these unparalleled times.

We will keep you updated as any further news comes to hand. But I always like to finish on a positive note and that is we are still undefeated this season folks – 7 wins and no losses. Sorry Manly!

Take care, stay safe and look after each other and of course…Up the Wicks!

Cheers
Mark

Mark Harrison
General Manager
Randwick DRUFC

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