COVID-19

COVID-19 Update November 1st

Dear all,

The next twist and turn in the COVID situation is approaching and from Thursday it seems obvious that the rugby club activity will cease until at least the 2nd December.

We are not 100% sure to what extent this effects the whole club operation e.g. the provision of takeaways. There are always grey areas where we have to wait a few days for the official instructions to be delivered by the government and the RFU. I understand that the full details of yesterday’s announcement will be released on Tuesday. Once we have read and understood them, we will pass on any updates. However, what is clear is that rugby activity, meeting up socially and using the Bar are banned from Thursday.

Thank you all for your continued support of this club and each other, it has been so heartening to see how you have all rallied round during these difficult times. The management team at the club will be spending the next few days and weeks putting together the best rugby club experience we possibly can in the run up to Christmas and beyond.

Look after yourselves and your families and keep an eye out for updates.

Mark Fisher
Chair, Chobham RFC


SamD

Arrivederci Sam Davies

Chobham RFC are proud to announce that 19-year-old Sam Davies has signed a season long contract to go and play rugby for Pro Recco in Genoa, Italy. The Sharks play in the second tier of Italian rugby and he will be one of their two international players. Sam is primarily a fly half or full back, who is also especially useful on the wing or at scrum half – his boot is one of his greatest assets.

 

Sam Davies leaves the UK on the 15th October 2020 to fly to Genoa, with his first scheduled game on the  8th November, in the same league as them are the Italy Under 20 Academy and Sardinia.

 

Sam played at Chobham throughout the Minis and Juniors, the only sojourn he had was playing rugby at Godalming College. He is currently part of Chobham Rugby’s Academy coaching team, as well as a qualified referee. Sam played at fly half for Surrey Under 18s and last season he was the 1st XV Young Player of the Season, as well as his try against Tonbridgians being nominated for the Grassroots Try of the Month.

 

When we asked Sam what his career highlight to date it was “last season’s away win at Winchester as a Senior and winning the Land Rover Trophy at U12s and then we went to Premiership Final to see Quins win. He feels his biggest influence on his rugby career was his Dad, James, while the most influential coaches have been Kelly Hill (Godalming) and Robbie Kennard (Chobham). When told of his move, Chobham Backs Coach Robbie said “Huge congratulations to Sam. It was a real pleasure to see him grow as both an individual and as a rugby player last season. What a fantastic opportunity for him to go and play in that environment. I would like to wish him the very best of luck and will certainly be keeping a close eye on his progress!”

 

We asked him, apart from playing professionally, what his career ambition is? “To become a Chobham Centurion as I will be back at Chobham”! Sam is looking forward to the actually playing rugby and Italian culture in North West Italy on the Mediterranean Coast. Sam will be sharing a house with three other fulltime players, as well as training evening with the rest of the Semi Pro players four nights a week.

Chobham Head Coach, Billy Davison said “All the best and congratulations to Sam Davies who embarks on a rugby adventure to Italy. Sam travels with the best wishes of all at Chobham Rugby – I am certain that this talented young player will prove a great success and a fine ambassador for our club. Go well Sam!”

 

It was the father of one of the academy players at Chobham, Eugeno Androne, who initiated the contact with Callum McLean, Technical Director and Head Coach at The Sharks and following discussion throughout September Sam signed for Pro Recco.

We asked Callum what he was looking forward to with Sam joining their squad, he said that “his understanding of the game is exciting for us and we see the potential in him, I have watched some of his videos and his knowledge will be an asset to us.” Callum is also excited that Sam has a coaching and referee background, which will help Pro Recco.

 

The Pro Recco ground is named the Androne Stadium, after Eugeno Androne’s younger brother Carlo who died prematurely at 16 – the Androne family have played rugby in Pro Recco since 1959. That Is not the only Chobham connection with The Sharks, Kiwi Callum McLean is from New Zealands North Island, he is a couple of years younger than our long time Player Coach Corey Kennett and both played Horowhenua Kapiti Rugby.

 

Director of Rugby Harry Norman-Walker said “I am so excited for Sam and he is getting an opportunity few will realise; he has the strength and knowledge in his game to make an impact in Italy. I’ve known Sam since he was born and to see the man, he is now is great compliment to his parents, Chobham are sending Pro Recco a great representative for the game and our club. Sam, savour every moment and I’m looking forward to watching you on the big screen at Chobham!!”

 

COVID-19

COVID-19 Update

Dear all
 
We are reviewing the latest coronavirus update:
 

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-covid-19-what-has-changed-22-september
 
One instruction that is very clear is that all users of inside spaces at the club will have to wear a face mask unless seated or medically exempt. This is effective immediately and I ask that you take responsibility for complying with this government missive. As stated before, we do not have the volunteer resource to police this and I ask that you look after each other’s health and your rugby club. NO MASK NO ENTRY!!!
 
TRACK AND TRACE
The club has a responsibility to provide track and trace and we understand that users of the
NHS COVID-19 App can check in using the App.
 
All visitors to the clubhouse, or any buildings on the clubs premises, must complete track and trace.
 
Use either the NHS Track and Trace QR code or our own Chobham QR code that we have distributed around the site.
 
IMPORTANT – this does not replace the track and trace procedures that we have in place for players training. We will continue with the existing sign in process.
 
Please bear with us, these procedures may change over the next few weeks, as we understand the effectiveness of the
NHS COVID-19 App.
 
BAR
We will have to change how we use our bar and are trying to work through procedures to deliver some form of service.
 
From this evening we will be providing table service and a strict 10pm curfew. If you are joining us this evening can I ask that you help us to work through the inevitable issues that we will encounter. The changes we are implementing include payment systems and all procedures will be untested.  Constructive feedback will be much appreciated but probably not when we are trying to clear a backlog of orders!
 
Details

  • Mask on entering the club house
  • Find a seat, sit down (maximum of 6 per table)
  • Request table service and order
  • Mask on when you leave the table
  • Bar opening- Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
  • Bar hours 7pm – 9.45pm
  • Last orders 9.30pm
  • Clubhouse empty and closed 10pm

 
NEXT STEPS
Showers – We have looked at the shower situation and are looking to provide some showers from next week – further consultation with our players continues
 
Food – This is an ongoing discussion – not forgotten
 
Thank you all very much.


Mark Fisher
Chair, Chobham RFC

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Minis and Juniors Return on 6th September

Mini and Junior Rugby returns to Sundays on the 6th September. As we remain at Stage D on the RFUs Return to Rugby Roadmap sessions the club will operate very differently and critically we need parents and players to observe the controls we have put in place which are important in maintaining safety for our players, parents and volunteers.

Please note for the first couple of sessions neither kitchen nor bar will be open to help us focus on getting Rugby back before anything else. Toilets will be available in the clubhouse – please follow the directions of travel in the clubhouse.

Stage D allows us to play a modified version of the game with no more than 20 players per half pitch – for more details on the England Rugby website click here

As we are operating under strict controls for player numbers, sessions will be staggered throughout the day as follows and we need all parents, players and volunteers to adhere to the points outlined in the sections below.

Please read carefully and if you have any questions please contact your age group manager or one of us

Most importantly   do not attend if you are anyone in your household or party is unwell

 

Ally Edwards (Mini Rugby Chair)                    Neil Whittington (Junior Rugby Chair)

Training Times

Please refer to the map below for locations of pitches and car parking areas

Age GroupTraining TimePitch AllocationCar Park
U509:15 - 10:15Top Pitch (B)Car Park B
U609:15 - 10:15Top Pitch (B)Car Park B
U709:15 - 10:15School Field (A)Car Park A
U809:15 - 10:15Orchard Field (D)Car Park D
Age GroupTraining TimePitch AllocationCar Park
U911:00 - 12:00Orchard (D)Car Park C
U1011:00 - 12:00Top Pitch (B)Car Park B
U1111:00 - 12:00School Field (A)Car Park A
U11 Girls11:00 - 12:00Training Area (C)Car Park C
Age GroupTraining TimePitch AllocationCar Park
U1212:30 - 1:30School Field (A)Car Park A
U1312:30 - 1:30Top Pitch (B)Car Park B
U1412:30 - 1:30Orchard (D)Car Park D
U13, U15 & U18 Girls12:30 - 1:30Bottom Pitch & Training AreaCar Park C
Age GroupTraining TimePitch AllocationCar Park
U15 Boys2:00 - 3:00Orchard (D)Car Park D
U16 Boys2:00 - 3:00Top Pitch (B)Car Park B
U17 & U18 Boys2:00 - 3:00School Field (A)Car Park A

HOW TRAINING WILL WORK

  • Each age group is assigned a pitch and a car park per above to aid with minimal cross over between age groups
  • Use the map below to navigate to your car park and nominated pitch
  • On arrival at your pitch (or before) you will be asked to scan a “QR code” with your phone which will open a link to the Test and Trace form . This MUST be filled in for every person in your party on every visit to Chobham RFC please
  • If you have an iPhone this should work without any change – if you have an Android phone (Samsung etc) you may need to install a QR code reader prior to arriving – please see your phones operating manual
  •  Do not arrive more than 15 minutes before your training session starts
  •  Keep spectators to a minimum, preferably one parent/guardian per player
  •  Follow government guidelines on hand hygiene and social distancing
  •  Spectate 1m+ from the edge of the pitch where your player is training. Keep children with you pitch side
  • Parents and siblings should not touch any kit
  •  Ensure all items brought and litter are taken home. Lost property will not be saved.  
  •  Follow directions on signage for use of the toilet facilities
  •  No spitting anywhere and no chewing on pitch
  •  Follow the paths indicated on the map to move between pitches
  • Please remember NO dogs on the Top Pitch, School Field or Orchard Pitches
  • If you want to wear a mask feel free. No-one will look at you funny. It is your choice.
  • Once training is finished leave the club as soon as possible.  

Some extra things for Minis U5 - U11

  •  Players to go straight to POD Coach once signed in using QR code
  • Do not bring players from outside your player’s POD to training
  • If you need to leave pitch side speak to Age Group Manager
Flapper

Flapper ( AKA Ian White) RIP

It is with great sadness that we must tell you Flapper passed away Saturday morning, 15th August 2020, at home with his wife Bernice and sons Zak & Jacob at his side. Bernice has asked that we remember him, he was a husband, father, friend to many and hero and friend to many at Chobham Rugby.

He has been fighting pancreatic cancer and since being diagnosed in February has had a very positive outlook on life.

Flapper played his formative years at Esher and following his work with developing their Colts and Academy players was made a Vice President at the club. He then found a renewed zest for rugby through the 13 man version of the game and with the influence of Grant Smith came to Chobham Rugby to see out the twilight of his playing career – oh how wrong was he!!

Flapper was a huge influence with the Devils developing and nurturing young players through to senior rugby in his early time at Chobham Rugby.

He was a tour legend and “what goes on tour stays on tour!!!”, but his legend was made at Paignton in the 30m sprint (run (dawdle (walk) down the right wing, his shorts falling down over his knees and being tripped by them to score over the line.

Two seasons ago, as ever with Flapper, the little butterfly morphed into a new phase of his career and got involved with Chobham’s Mixed Ability side, the Surrey Chargers, he took on coaching and mentoring. Flapper was helping Mike O’Regan in fundraising in their quest to get to Cork for the Mixed Ability RWC 2020. Sadly due to Covid it was never realised, but he has left a legacy that will always be remembered.

The other side of Flapper is just as remarkable, his two sons are international ice hockey players, he and Bernice would travel the UK (as well as Europe and North America) supporting their boys. He also had a great passion for fishing.

Everyone at Chobham Rugby offers our condolences to Bernice and the boys.

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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