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Chairman's Report 2024!

Chairman's Report 2024!

Ellis Garratt16 May - 19:00
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Luke Russell's notes and information regarding the past season and exciting prospects for the upcoming season.

Not wanting to start on a negative but the 2023-2024 Season has been a somewhat difficult one for Aldridge RFC. We have faced a variety of challenges both on and off-field to the club. At the start of the season, we lost a core group of experienced players, had to reshuffle the coaching element and have saw some difficulty occurring in-club. In contrast to this, we’ve ended the season by backfilling the rugby club with a host of fresh faces (both playing members and supporters) all of whom have played an equally vital role for enabling the club to remain open, had some brilliant socials and ended with a fantastic tour (one of my favorites!) On-Field has been a tough season no doubt, but the commitment from players remains paramount to us achieving our expected success in the coming season. Previously the club had a ‘core element’ of around 5 or 6 players driving us forward – that core group has now expanded to easily 15/20 individuals who all bring something unique to the running of the club. I want that number to encompass the entire playing element of the club – it’s a tall ask but I believe it is possible and will just require a re-focusing and offering of support (in whatever capacity you are able).
Without the commitment from people at the club, the efforts from all are wasted. I can’t thank you all enough for your continued perseverance – sometimes in very difficult circumstances – but always with a smile and a backing of your clubmates. This/You make it all absolutely worth it.

However, we can’t stay where we are forever – we have to kick on – the old saying of ‘Change or Die’ is very apt for grassroots rugby at present and as Chairman I feel you are all owed a club to be proud of; whether you’re a playing member, supporter, visitor or volunteer. We have some very exciting changes and plans for this coming season – which I have no doubt will see everyone’s requirements and expectations catered for. I’ve really enjoyed seeing the dynamics of the club change over the past 12 months from a culture based mostly around ‘Classic Rugby Atmosphere’ (Don’t get me wrong I love those nights too!!) to one more in-lined with that of a welcoming family environment that caters for everyone – and
ultimately makes Aldridge RFC a place that people want to spend their weekends with loved ones. This is vitally important to me – perhaps selfishly – but seeing all the partners and children involved and playing active roles within the club helps make that magic which makes Aldridge RFC such a special, welcoming place.

I will allow the relevant members their own platform to announce their plans and changes from an on-field and off-field perspective in a moment – however I’m truly excited about the forthcoming season. Some of the plans and discussions I have been party to involving pre-season, social events, training format, family days, external nights out I’m really looking forward to. We’ll also be changing some of the layout of the ‘game-day experience’ which will inevitably create an increased appetite and competition for playing shirts. It’s going to be an exciting time to be a part of Aldridge RFC…

As Chairman, I would like to ask that for everyone here to make two commitments;
1) To continue to be being held ‘accountable’ in all your activity at the club, and
2) To do whatever is necessary to be classed as a great team-mate and club-man– that means
getting to training (even when it’s cold and wet) – if you’d like to work on a specific area of
your game raise it to the Captains and Coaches (or me) and we will facilitate.
Equally, please make the support of the clubs new social calendar a priority – going forward we will ensure that everyone has plenty of notice to when these will be occurring, but I need your help to make them worthwhile. I will absolutely ensure everyone is catered for – but please respect the effort that goes into organizing them – the more people we can get to our events the better I can make them by asking/requesting/stealing more money from the money-man being Alex.

I’d like to conclude by once again thanking you all for your tireless efforts over the past 12 months, I know it hasn’t always been easy but you have all become a massive part of the Aldridge RFC journey – this is your club, it represents who we/you are – and I’m really excited, slightly apprehensive, but mostly raring to get going – to ensure the 2024-2025 season is a memorable one for all the right reasons. Thanks to everyone– please keep up the fantastic work!

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