President’s Letter

August 2021

Dear Cooke RFC Member,

This feels a little like Groundhog Day although I hope that more happens during this incoming 2021/22 season! Despite the obvious lack of normal rugby activity, the Executive Committee members continued to work hard on your behalf to keep the club afloat and solvent and I want to thank every one of them for their hard work and diligence over the last year.

The Covid-19 virus has continued to disrupt all of our lives but hopefully as I write this, we can look forward to life returning to some kind of normal albeit slower than we would all like. As in the previous year, Cooke RFC will continue to follow the guidelines provided regarding playing and we are currently optimistic about having a rugby season.

The Executive Committee decision was ratified at the AGM to continue with the office bearers in their respective roles for a further year. Norman McKenzie will take over as Mini-rugby Convenor and replaces Gareth Corry. I want to record my thanks to Gareth for the fabulous work he did during his time as Convenor.

There is very little to report on the playing front except that our players have been back in training, we have recruited well across all sections and the season ahead should be successful for all of our teams.  I extend a warm welcome to all of our new and a few returning players. Cooke RFC continues to be a popular choice for players looking for a vibrant club, both on and off the pitch. We have designed a new kit which will be rolled out across every section over the next season or two. Mini rugby and our Men’s 1st XV will be the first to use it; the kit returns to our traditional look and means that every Cooke RFC player, from mini to adult, will be recognisable in the same playing strip.

I am happy to report that SBSA has installed Sky TV in the clubhouse and this will bring an added angle for all sport lovers on a Saturday afternoon. I encourage everyone to do your best to attend matches, support pre-match lunches, social events and the bar at Shawsbridge. Every pound spent in the bar facilities reduces the burden on Cooke RFC.

As always, we need more volunteers! There are always things to do; these can be on a one off basis or on a longer term commitment. If you have an interest in helping and believe that you can make a contribution, please step up and make it known. This does not have to mean a full time commitment and some of our members have already assisted with various projects by giving a few hours of their expertise. Sometimes that is all that’s needed!

Thank you to all members who continued to pay subscriptions last season. I want to appeal to all Cooke RFC members, playing and non-playing, to pay their membership subscription promptly this season. Last season was challenging on the financial front and quite simply, we cannot afford another year like that! The club still has to pay its way at Shawsbridge and membership subscriptions are a critical part of our income stream. Rates remain unchanged for the fourth year. This year we are transferring subscription payment to an online platform and details are provided in the accompanying Subscriptions letter. This online platform follows the example of many other clubs and it reduces the amount of administration required by the volunteers to oversee the manual process.

Once again, our main club sponsors – Fortress SEFA and RP Group – have supported us admirably and I extend sincere gratitude to them on behalf of the club. Colinwell Concrete and Nelson Heating Services have generously agreed to sponsor the playing shorts of the new kit, many thanks to both companies. We have many sponsors throughout the club, recent and established, and their support is greatly appreciated. New pitch sign sponsors have been recruited over the summer and you will see the new signs and names appearing on the senior pitch perimeter. I ask that you give our sponsors your support in return, whenever possible. If you know of any business which may be interested in supporting us, please speak to me. We have a variety of packages available to suit all budgets.

We will be re-launching the 500 Club this year and we have four postponed draws to complete as part of this. New application forms will be sent out to existing 500 Club members to change bank details – thank you for your support over the years and please continue with it by completing these promptly.

We are also planning to launch an online club shop to supply additional items of kit and clothing for players and supporters. This will include a range of T-shirts, polo shirts and tops as well as hoodies and a range of coats and jackets. Items can be ordered and paid for online and delivered to the member’s home address. More details to follow…

At this stage we have no information regarding International match spectators therefore a ticket application form has not been sent out. When details are available we will provide the relevant update.

Finally, I want to wish everyone a successful return to club life. Let’s hope that we can enjoy a full season and I look forward to seeing everyone at the club!

Pro Gloria Ludus.

Best regards

Richard Irvine, Cooke RFC President 2021/22

Membership rates

2021/22 Season Single payment £ Monthly payments £ x 9
Adult player 160 18.50
Student / unemployed player 90 10.75
Youth player 90 10.75
Non-playing 100 11.75
Over 65 / OAP 80 9.50
Friends of Cooke 250 28.50

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