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Chobham RFC feature in England Rugby news

Chobham today featured in the news on the Englandrugby.com website – full story here : 

Chobham Rugby, one of Surrey’s leading community rugby clubs, prides itself on offering the sport to as many people as possible.

Having weathered lockdown, they are now bringing rugby back to their Fowlers Wells pitches, while following all government guidelines. The return is toasted at a socially distanced drink each Thursday evening.

The seniors have had over 60 training at each session and 115 different players from 17-years-old through to over 50s, 25 players being Under 21s means a fantastic future for the club. The sessions provide both pre-season fitness and also the mental wellbeing of the squad as a whole. Supported by their skilled medical team, they have taken all precautions to protect player’s health and wellbeing.

Their women’s team is training and due to enter the RFU league structure during the coming season, providing opportunities for those progressing from the girls’ section, which serves  players up to U18 level. 

Chobham Women drinks
 

They have the second mixed ability team formed in the South East, the Surrey Chargers, where players with autism, a learning difficulty or a physical disability play full contact rugby alongside more experienced players. Training is on its way back for the Chargers too.

Regularly featuring in the Surrey Heath and Woking sports awards for their work in the community, the club’s community work includes local school rugby programmes and holiday rugby camps.

The club has around 600 minis and juniors who will be enjoying Ready4Rugby, ranging from age five onwards, with lots of family support. Their five senior sides are raring to go as they wait to play their league rugby from London 2 South West (Level 7) through to the Surrey Foundation League.

With fun sessions for pre-school children, weekly mixed touch rugby and regular touch rugby for those aged 35 and over, Chobham caters for every age group and skill level.

Says Mike O’Regan, community co-ordinator: “When we reached Stage B our senior men and women began training under the specified guidelines. Now with Stage C everyone is eager to get back and active.

“We are always looking for opportunities to expand the game and introduce it to groups who may have previously been under represented. Rugby should be a game for all and that’s what we aim to provide.”

This week, 16 regular O2 Touch players were invited to a test event, to help road test the protocols and allow touch to be played in line with the RFU guidelines for stage C. A great hour-long session was enjoyed.

Everybody pre-registered using the O2 Touch app and then signed in and sanitised when they arrived, the app providing a track and trace facility, with contact details and the sign in a self-declaration of being Covid free.

Breaks every 15 mins to re-sanitise and to rehydrate didn’t deter from a competitive session despite nobody caring much about the score, as one player commented it was “good to be back running and passing the rugby ball around.”

All players brought along two shirts, light and dark, to avoid using bibs and only one regularly sanitised ball was used to minimise equipment. 

bar1

Chobham RFC online bar now open

Order your drinks in advance for a Chobham Rugby social. Prices include VAT.

Wednesday collection after training circa 8:30pm – See Catherine Vandenberg
Thursday collection between 6pm to 7pm
Friday collection during training – See Neil Whittington

Your purchase can be drunk outside at the club in pods of six 2m

Orders for Mighty Chobham need to be placed by Tuesday evening.

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2020-21 Season Membership Open

Good afternoon all

I hope you are all well and enjoying the summer. As you will have read in our weekly Newsletters, we have been busy tentatively taking steps to open up the rugby club, as permissible and safe, for both rugby and social activity.

You may have also seen that England Rugby have now moved to Stage C in the Return To Rugby Roadmap (https://www.englandrugby.com/news/article/return-to-rugby-community-update) which allows us to move forward with non-contact training.

Clubs across the country are now working towards a full season commencing on the 6th of September. Whilst we don’t believe it will be a “normal” season as it may be slow to evolve back into full contact and may be interrupted, we are confident that we will be able to deliver rugby across the board for the next season. The Rugby Leadership group have been tasked with ensuring that we are ready to go with a full program of rugby activity (as permitted) for the new season.

Based on the above rationale, we have opened the membership system and request members to start the process of renewing their membership for the next season. Full details and instructions are on our website at https://chobhamrugby.co.uk/join-support/

After much consideration, the Management Committee have concluded that we should hold subs at last season’s rates.

We took the following into consideration

  • The RFU have released fixtures for senior rugby for next season.
  • The RFU are in the process of delivering fixtures for Junior and Women’s Rugby
  • We are being encouraged to arrange some preseason friendly fixtures (after Sept)
  • The RFU have suggested that the season may be extended to accommodate postponed fixtures in case of further COVID complications.

The uncertainty around the makeup and length of the season makes it a major challenge for the club attempting to understand the financial impact. We have managed our financial position over the closed season taking advantage of every tool and grant we were able to apply for, but we have taken a significant “hit” to our income due to the cancellation of some major summer hires. As we open up, we will start to incur significant costs. We have not reached out to the membership for donations or set up just giving accounts as we are mindful of our members circumstances and didn’t feel it appropriate to build up a reserve “just in case”. The downside to this approach is that in these uncertain times we cannot accurately understand our exposure to reduced sponsorship and bar/kitchen revenue. We do however feel that we can offer a season of rugby and reasonably ask for membership fees. I will add the caveat that if the season is a complete write off (highly unlikely) we will of course look to find a way to compensate.

As an additional enhancement to membership this season, we will also be distributing smart membership cards that will have the functionality to enable members to preload cash for cashless payments and receive offers such as member discounts at the bar. More details will be released later as we get the technology up and running.

If you are an existing member, you should have received an email from membership over the last couple of days (if you did not receive this and are an existing member please check your spam folder and email membership@chobham-rugby.co.uk if you have not received it)

Finally, a huge thank you to all of you that support your wonderful club and I am looking forward to a new challenging season that with patience and teamwork we can thoroughly enjoy.

I hope that you get signed up as soon as possible and we can all steer the club through these strange times and look forward to seeing you all on a Saturday and Sunday in the very near future.

Mark Fisher
Chairman, Chobham Rugby