Abingdon Rugby Club Fields teams from Under 6, right up to the First team playing in Bucks Berks Oxon Premier. I wish all members, coaches, supporters, and especially players at our Club, a Very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New year. I hope you can be with your friends, family and loved ones over the festive period.
This year has been strange and difficult for everyone, including for everyone involved with our Club.
I know how hard members have worked to keep our Club running through the lockdown period, and the recovery from it. We have always provided Rugby activity, when it's been permitted during the Covid pandemic. Not only has our Club negotiated this awkward environment, but appears to have come back stronger from it. I am delighted that more members are becoming actively involved in managing our Club's affairs, at all levels.
The Firsts are riding high in BBO Premier. The Seconds are holding their own in BBO 2 North, the highest league they have ever played in. This league includes several other Club First teams. The Minis and Juniors are attracting new players, and introducing them to our game successfully.
We are a Community Club. We support our Community, and draw our players from it. The last First team game, played on 11th December, included 14 players from the squad of 18, who had started as Minis at Abingdon.
During the lockdown, our Clubhouse at Lambrick Way has been extensively refurburshed. A new, eco-friendly heating and hot water system has been installed. The showers have been renovated. For the first time in living memory, complaints that the water is too hot has been heard. The floor in the corridor has been replaced, and the toilets refurbished. Lots of "snagging" has been carried out.
Dealing with Covid has been a great challenge for us all, and everyone involved has coped with it admirably. The bar has been run absolutely in the correct manner, with table service, and outdoor tables when appropriate. An intensive cleaning and sanitization process has been in progress. The players and coaches have followed all covid guidelines, and track and trace has been assisted, wherever this has been required.
Just when you think you're nearly out of the woods, along comes omicron, and all the games and Christmas activities due on 18th/19th December have to be postponed! The Senior fixtures are already rearranged for 5th February 2022. Hopefully the postponed social events will soon be rearranged as well.
Whatever you're doing through the festive season, whether you celebrate Christmas or not, I wish you all the best. May you and yours enjoy peace, good health and happiness, in the coming year, and always.
I look forward to seeing you all again, when Rugby restarts in the first week of January.