Merry Christmas and the happiest New Year
Here we are at the end of one of the strangest years in living memory faced with a Covid 19 pandemic which started nine months ago and seems to have a lot of life left in it, Tier 3 lockdown and a bleak Christmas period made festive only by minor relaxation of the regulations for a day. Who would or could have predicted that at this time last year!
The restrictions on social gathering and absence of any community rugby since March, save for training, whilst not meeting universal approval and not helped by ever-changing governmental regulations as the situation develops, is in my view understandable in the circumstances. However, the inevitable financial and other pressures that clubs, not to mention individuals, have come under simply to survive with little or no income have made this a year we would all prefer to forget, if only that was possible. Thus far though, I am delighted to say our clubs in general appear to be just about hanging on and, on behalf of the County, I would offer a huge thank-you to all officials, members and sponsors for their efforts in whatever form to keep their club afloat, whether fundraising or otherwise, and implore you to keep supporting however you can to ensure you have a club to come back to when normality eventually returns. Many thanks as well to all of the members of the various County Committees and Administrator Erin Knotts who in countless Zoom Meetings have dealt with business in an ever-changing and challenging landscape’
So, onwards and upwards in 2021, Covid permitting! There are many other major issues facing the game, not least the bedding-in of the new RFU staffing structure, league re-organisation and player-safety. In the meantime, may I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year – or at least as “merry and happy” and not to mention “healthy” as possible in the current circumstances with a reminder of perhaps the most important message - “KEEP SAFE” – just because the regulations say you can, doesn’t mean that you have to!