Dear Players, Managers, Coaches and Supporters,
The purpose of this message is simply to update you on Club activities and what’s happening behind the scenes and also to keep in touch with our volunteers, parents/guardians and our many playing members both young and old during this difficult and uncertain period. Our immediate thoughts are with any families of our members who have been directly affected by the virus and to offer whatever support and assistance we can to ease the burden and make life easier. We are also aware that many within the RUFC family are operating along the front line either directly or indirectly and, to those people and their families, we would like to express our appreciation and support.
While the pandemic has forced us to close down our sporting and social activities, we thought we might bring you up to date on other Club activities taking place behind the scenes. At community level the Executive Committee, in the person of Alan Duffy, has been active in organising and donating Easter eggs to the residents, patients and staff members of St. Francis Hospice and Raheny House Nursing Home. We would like to thank all of the staff members of both these institutions who continue to provide the utmost care to our loved ones during these trying times.
In addition to its activities in the community, the Executive Committee has continued to manage the affairs of the Club and meets fortnightly via a video conferencing facility kindly put in place for us by John Ward just as the pandemic was taking hold. The Clubhouse has been completely shut down, but is secured and is monitored regularly by Dave Cregan our Bar Manager.
But while our normal activities as a Club have been put on hold, we are encouraged to see that the “virtual” Club has come to life and is gaining momentum on social media and we would encourage as many of you as possible to participate in the activities that have been posted so far. Alan Duffy will be writing separately to Coaches on the subject of on-line coaching and will be including some useful links. Both Alan and John Ward have collaborated in designing a shared folder for all our coaches and are sharing daily links to the recently launched FAI Home Skills programme. The playlists on our YouTube channel are also worth looking at and will be updated regularly with useful content. Indeed, while on the subject, if anybody else has any ideas for keeping us all in touch (and fit) please feel free to make your suggestions either online or directly to Alan (email@example.com). It is important that we maintain contact with each other so that we are not strangers when eventually we get together again and resume our normal activities.
Even before the spread of the pandemic forced us to close down operations, weather disruptions since November had made it a difficult and challenging season on the playing field with relatively few fixtures having been fulfilled particularly among the younger age groups. With regard to the question of the resumption of normal activities, the Committee feels that we are unlikely to get the go-ahead to play again until at least mid-autumn. We are assuming that once a Government decision is taken to ease the general restrictions, the process will be a gradual one introduced on a phased basis with essential sectors receiving priority. In these circumstances we don’t expect to see sporting activities coming back on stream until further down the line. The Committee will be keeping the matter under review.
For those of you who have expressed concern regarding the effect the close down will have on the financial position of the Club, the Committee advises that there is no need for immediate concern. Adequate reserves have been built up in recent years and the financial position of the Club remains secure. Costs have been cut back to the minimum and our projections show that we should be capable of absorbing the effects of the continued closure well into the future. The long term repercussions on the economy will undoubtedly have a negative effect on business overall and the Club will be faced with many challenges in the years ahead. However, we are confident that we can meet these challenges and that, insofar as our footballing activities are concerned, once restrictions are lifted we don’t envisage any difficulties picking up where we left off earlier this year.
The Committee also recognises the fact that most members have by now paid their registration fees for a season that, at this stage, seems likely to be curtailed if not abandoned. Given the numbers and the logistics involved, the Committee feels that refunding fees is not feasible in the current circumstances. Instead the Committee is considering a number of options which will allow for a substantial portion of these fees to be carried forward into next season by way of reduced fees or discounts.
We should also mention that the disruption of the playing season means that our Annual General Meeting will have to be postponed. Members of the current Committee have agreed to remain in place in a caretaker capacity until the crisis passes and an AGM can be held.
Finally, if you have any questions or wish to comment or make suggestions please let us know by email. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
But for the moment let’s stay strong, stay safe and stay together - but at a safe distance.
Yours in Sport
The Executive Committee.