Welcome to 2018
Happy New Year to everyone. I hope you all had a good Christmas break and are fully refreshed for the second half of our season.
The story of the 1st XV’s season so far is one of being thwarted from fielding a consistent side due to unavailability and injuries. We are currently lying fourth in the table but are still aiming to be in the mix for a promotion play-off place. We hope that 2018 will see a change in our fortunes with the return of our injured players, some of whom are key to us, and increased availability generally.
We are just managing to get four Senior teams out on League weekends and on this note I was particularly delighted to see that Barry White, our Chairman of Selectors, won the Christmas Draw top prize of £1000. He deserved it after the work he has had to put in over the first half of the season. Our thanks also go to Jim Olsen and team for organising the Christmas Draw again and raising £2,100 for Project All Change. Thanks Jim.
Our Vets team are fulfilling all their fixtures, and of course we always have the usual high numbers of min, junior and colts players out on Sundays, coached and refereed by all our fantastic volunteers. Keep up the good work.
On Sundays you will also see our growing Junior girls section training on Hudson’s Field, and this term we will be working hard to ensure our Women’s group get some games under their belt. Keep an eye out for the ‘Inner Warrior’ sessions they hold, which are open to anyone regardless of their experience.
In respect of Project All Change our fundraising continues and now stands at over £180,000, well on our way to the £300,000 we need to raise. To go alongside our own funds, we have Agreement in Principle for £275,000 from the RFU, RFF, Sport England and Landfill Tax so a build this year looks increasingly possible, provided we keep pushing on and supporting the organised events. I want to take this opportunity to thank Richard Bathurst, our Financial Director, who has worked exceptionally hard and astutely to secure these monies and we are very grateful to him. We have recently set up our Build Team which is making good progress and hope to be able to go out to tender on some of the work early in the year – if you are able to help or want to tender for any work please let me or Barry White know.
Thanks to all those who have already offered support with the build in some way. However, we are not there yet so please support if you can:
· Our “Buy a Plaque” campaign is your opportunity to have a brick or a double brick engraved with your name, your family, or your business along with a message, to be built into the front wall of the new changing rooms. These will be available shortly: £35 for a single brick and £60 for a double brick – a reasonable price to be remembered on the club house in perpetuity.
And please remember there are opportunities every week to support the build. Ask at the bar for a £2.00 entry to the bonus ball draw, or £1.00 tickets to enter the Thursday night meat draw.
Best wishes for a happy, healthy 2018. Richard Larcombe, Chairman Salisbury