16 June 2020 / Club News

A Message from the Chairman

Dear Members & Supporters,

I hope you are all well and keeping safe during these unprecedented times.

It is important to keep you up to date with what we are doing, to try to ensure that when we come out of the other side of this pandemic, we still have a club to play for and support. Our last game, prior to the suspension of play and subsequent cancellation of the season was held on the 25th January. The 25 - 10 home win against Loughor RFC now seems like a lifetime ago. 

Last season was a special one for us as we reached our 75th year. Special organised events to commemorate the anniversary, including an evening with new Wales Coaches Wayne Pivac & Stephen Jones at the clubhouse and a Celebration Dinner with WRU President Gerald Davies & Broadcaster Eddie Butler at the Ivy Bush Royal Hotel, were sadly cancelled due to lockdown. It is hoped to organise something retrospectively when 'normality' returns. Another event that fell victim to the situation was our proposed tour to Gibraltar at the end of April. In addition, numerous clubhouse private functions were also unfortunately cancelled with the safety of members and visitors paramount.

During lockdown we have taken the opportunity to carry out some refurbishments at the clubhouse. Areas have been freshened up with a lick of paint, existing lighting has been replaced with cost effective LED lights and bench seating in the function room are in the process of being re-upholstered. Also essential grass-cutting and ground maintenance has been on-going on the three playing fields. Additional perimeter advertising boards have been erected pitch side, including our own 'Thank You' to the wonderful NHS. We are extremely grateful to our loyal advertisers who continue to support the club.

During this long period of inactivity at our clubhouse, the obvious financial implications have been dire. The lack of any bar revenue together with the total loss of cellar stocks has been disastrous for our core business. Rugby and post match social gatherings go hand in hand at any club and we are no different. I know that members will appreciate our predicament and promptly remit the annual membership subscription when it becomes due. This action will greatly assist us with much needed cash flow in these tough times. Needless to say, any additional donations will be gratefully received at this difficult time - thank you.

No firm decision has been taken to date as to when we can resume with the new playing season. Speculation has it that it may not resume until November/December or even January 2021. We shall of course follow the guidance of the WRU and comply with Government instructions when a decision is finally reached. We can only hope that it will be sooner rather than later.

I would like to thank my fellow officials & committee members, for their continued commitment and hard work for the cause. The 'behind the scenes' work is rarely noticed but is vital towards the smooth running of the club. I would also like to  take this opportunity to make an appeal for volunteers to join the committee. Fresh views and ideas from younger members are always welcome, to keep our beloved club up to speed as we enter the final quarter of the century of our existence. 

Finally, I would like to pay tribute to three loyal members who have sadly passed away recently. Former referee Alun Stephens and Delme 'Ribs' Jones both left us in March, while former player, coach & committee member Anthony Maynard passed away last Saturday. All three members had a long association with the club and they will be sorely missed by many friends at the Athletic -  Rest in Peace. 

Until we all meet again, look after yourselves and please stay safe.

Wynne Jones.




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