Club Update

(1) Lockdown 2.0…
 Per the recent government announcement that was approved today in the commons; between 05 Nov and 02 Dec all community team sports are to stop during this period which applies to all Age Grades and additionally to Adult rugby below Championship for men (level 2) and Premiers 15s for ladies.
 During this period the RFU has also announced today we will return to Stage A of the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap to reflect the government guidelines.

(2) RFU Update on POSSIBLE return to Competitive play
 Statement From the RFU below re competition/ cluster leagues
“the RFU Competitions Team is working with the Competitions Organising Committees for Men and Women to finalise alternative competitions models in place of the cancelled 2020/21 league programme. These will be entirely optional for clubs and will have no impact on promotion/relegation. They will focus on local cluster leagues and offer a framework for clubs to Return to Play (in some format once we have government approval to do so). It is intended to circulate these proposals, inviting clubs to participate, on Friday 13 November”
** Please note as a club we are exploring other exciting alternatives for contact games post lockdown**

(3) During Lockdown
 During lockdown for your various rugby groups please do explore ways to “keep connected” with players and parents. Online Quiz’s, Zoom PT Sessions, Online Yoga, Virtual Coach Education etc are just some ideas you may want to look at.
** Please do let me know if you need any help with any of these **
>>> a good friend at the club said to me this week…. “Let’s try to be the best Lockdown club out there” Definitely a challenge, but quite a cool one for all of us to aspire to!!

(4) RAIDERS Coaches Update
– Last weekend we parted company with the previous Raiders Coaching Team. Members should have all received an update through email. On behalf of the club and myself a big thank you to the coaching team of Ian, Jody, Ben, JC and Jack over the years at the club. Ben Coulson will continue to coach within our Juniors and Raiders Academy Programme.
– This week I am excited to welcome Jordan Turner-Hall as the new Head Coach for the Worthing Raiders Squad. Jordan, a former Harlequins Pro Player, Premiership winner and England International has worked his way through a number of coaching roles learning his “coaching craft” to now twin is day job at the Harlequins Academy with his new responsibilities at Worthing RFC.

Finally a moment of reflection….
We don’t often take time to stop and reflect in our busy daily lives, however taking the time to do this over the last few days I have to say I’m incredibly proud of EVERYTHING the club has achieved over this tempestuous period this year. Some clubs have stopped, moaned where as the general feeling and ethos at our club has been to “Find a way to push forward” and provide the best experience we can for all our members whether this be on the field or off the field of play.

How many other clubs have had Warren Abrahams (lots of times), Russell Earnshaw (Twice), Tom Mitchell (3 times), Richard De-Carpenter, Alex Davies, Hollly Aitchison, Deborah Fleming, Amy Wilson Hardy, National Junior 7s Programme, Abby Gustaitis, Danny Ward & Rob Powell visit their club in the last few months post lockdown?

Remember those countless centenary videos from players past and present wishing us well we had through September – Very Very Cool !

In addition to:
> Holding a 4 day camp with near 100 mini and juniors players attending…. To quote a youngster, “the Raiders are my heroes now”
> Had huge engagement from our Senior Raiders Players right across the club right down the little ones in the minis
> Each section had a dedicated Saturday for internal ready4rugby festivals run by our fabulous organisers creating an awesome atmosphere of “togetherness” at the club
> Hosted many ready4rugby fixtures, especially by our proactive u15 and u16 groups
> U18 girls going “left field” with a socially distant judo session at our local sponsor Optimus Gym!
> Our amazing bar staff working through the new restrictions and still able to push forward through our new text and serve service
> Very decent food being served by the Chichester hog squad (not forgetting our new coffee machine 😉 )
> Our famous “work parties” of volunteers getting our grounds into shape and putting up posts
> Adding additional Floodlights on pitch 4 giving much needed lighting when the nights came in
> The “Duty Shift Managers” giving up their Saturday and Sundays to enable the club to open/close whenever its needed by the members
> Our Raiders Academy Programme welcoming a new U12 intake to take us to over 200 players in the county wide programme!!
> New head Coaches step up across the Minis, Juniors and we added some real experienced coaches to the Academy programme
> Re-Forming our Partnership with Worthing College, Academy of Sport
> Coaches across the board supporting each other (Adrian and Henry – Big thanks on this for supporting U7s and the various other age groups across the minis and juniors and girls sections)
> Assisting other Sussex clubs get “off the ground” with taster junior training sessions
> Running and making available multiple Coach Education sessions
> Having BBC South Today visit us filming us for a section on the return to rugby on TV
> That Radio Interview on Worthing RFC
> Our very productive DBS team putting through 100s of DBS when the service re-opened again
> Hosting a Mental Health awareness virtual course for Coaches which really got us thinking differently
> Ralf, Billy and Tim working hard to make sure our Physio room is available and C19 compliant
> Our commercial and Financial team attracting the circus and fair to Worthing RFC
> Remember those initial times out of the first C19 lockdown with lots of creative personalised coaching and using those foam 2m tubings (lots of fun… probably too much for the seniors 😉 )

All this (and I’m sure I’ve missed lots of bits!) in a period of huge change and challenging guidelines…. Just imagine if “times were normal”!!

Walking around last Sunday I do have to say, in a quiet moment of reflection while all the above is very cool and amazing, I couldn’t have been prouder than watching multiple minis age groups having LOTS of run and enjoying the camaraderie and true spirit of the game at our club. There will of course be challenges ahead, but seeing what all of our amazing volunteers and club members have achieved in such a short space of time I’m both humbled but also more confident than ever we will emerge from this lockdown with energy and enthusiasm to push forward again as one club.

Thank you all and please do shout if you need anything through this next 4 weeks.


Director of Rugby, Worthing RFC