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Message to All Caldy Club Members

When we sent out our last newsletter at the end of March, we said we would aim to keep people informed of developments at Caldy.

The first thing I would like to say is that I hope everyone is safe and that you are managing the lockdown as well as you can. For all those working at the NHS, or for other essential services, a big thank you for everything you are doing for the rest of us during these surreal times

These are trying times for all sports clubs as income has dried up. I am sure that everyone associated with Caldy Sports Club, as part of the Senior Rugby Section, Community Rugby section or Cricket Section, understands the problems we are facing. If you can help in anyway, by paying your subs early, sponsoring a player or giving time to help us improve the appearance of Paton Fields, we would ask that you do. Don’t put it off but act today if you can!

CSCL News – Gary Devaney, Chairman CSCL & Senior Rugby Section

In the last Newsletter I asked for donations to allow essential work on the Clubhouse and Grounds to be carried out. The good news is that we have now received nearly £16,000 in donations and we would expect to receive tax relief at 20% on this amount so the total received will be in the region of £20,000. The Caldy Sports Field Trust (CSFT) has independent trustees and an administrator, and all donations are received by CFST and they then award grants to CSCL for projects that meet the Trust’s criteria.

I would like to thank everyone who has made a donation. I appreciate that for many people these are worrying times financially as well as being worrying on health grounds. Being a business owner myself I appreciate just how difficult it is at the moment, and I wish all our members well during these challenging times for their businesses. For all those Friends of Caldy who have made a donation, though, a very big thank you from all the members of Caldy Club. I would also like to thank those individuals who have generously agreed to write off previous loans to CSCL – with £20,000 having been donated by the writing off of previous loans. We will be marking the individual contributions in due course.

It is certainly not too late to make a donation if you are in a position to be able to do so. There is a lot that is needed to be done at Caldy in essential maintenance and all help is much appreciated. 

If you wish to make a donation, please contact Paul Grandy on 07470 338771 and Paul will send you the forms and bank account details.

So, what have the donations been spent on?

1. We have placed an order with Everite Windows for the replacement of the current windows with UPVC windows. The wooden windows were badly rotted and were allowing water into the fabric of the building and were only single ply and were not thermally efficient. Works are due to start in the next few weeks.

2. The posts were badly corroded and required rubbing down, treating as well as painting. Simon Carney has now carried out the work and we are awaiting the delivery of new crossbars to allow them to be painted and refitted. Thanks, Simon!

So far, we have committed to spend nearly £8,500

What else is planned?

1. We need to refurbish the toilets and that will be done this summer. 

2. We intend to redecorate internally and will start with the changing rooms, team room and the office. When the windows have been installed, we will then look at what is required in the lounge and main bar.

Other Plans

1. We intend to lay astroturf in front of the dugouts to protect the ground and the appearance. This will be for the Rugby Club rather than CSCL

2. We shall be constructing an additional viewing tier on the bank

3. We intend to lay a petanque pitch on top of the bank for the enjoyment of members

A big thank you to one of our members who is kindly arranging for the works to be done for us. We are fortunate a club to have many kindhearted members who support us with both time and money!

We are looking at the feasibility of other potential investments

1. Charlie Pearson is kindly looking at the feasibility of replacing the boiler with a Gas system and we are awaiting Charlie’s updated report – we initially received a report in 2017 and if we had acted on it by now the savings would have paid for the capital cost.

A second benefit of changing the power for the showers is that it would free up the old Boiler room for other purposes. The cost is at this stage expected to be in the region of £18 to £20,000. 

2. As part of looking at the feasibility of replacing the boiler we will also investigate the cost of improving the electricity supply and the provision of a gas supply. 

3. We are looking at the introduction of Membership Cards that will allow members to put money on them to pay at the bar. It is likely that we will all be less inclined to use cash when bars reopen and using our membership cards to pay will be sensible. There will be a difference in bar prices for members and non – members.

How else can you help?

I must give a very big thank you to the members of the Last of the Summer Wine gang who have continued looking after the grounds on our behalf! A very special group who we are all indebted to.

Also, a big thank you to Lisa and Pete who have painted the concrete posts around the pitches. Small things make a massive difference and they have improved the appearance of the grounds immeasurably.

There are a number of other jobs that could be done by anyone willing to volunteer a few hours a week – and they can be done without going within 2 metres of anyone else. The outside of the clubhouse could undoubtedly do with some TLC – whether it is weeding between the flags, painting the picnic tables, painting the fence and benches, or weeding and planting. All jobs that require volunteers to make Caldy look as good as it can in readiness for the new season. I am sure that Dickie will draw up a list of suitable jobs and Roger Flashman has kindly volunteered to co – ordinate the works. So, if you like fresh air and want to give something back to Caldy please volunteer. 

If you wish to volunteer, please contact Roger on 07583 236915

In terms of what CSCL have done to date. We have applied for and been successful in receiving grants from the following:

Wirral Council – £10k – General Support

Cheshire RFU – £2k – Clubhouse Overhead

Sports England – £6k – Grounds Expenditure

In line with the HMRC guidance we have furloughed our coaching team and full-time staff as well as casual staff. The support we have received from national government, local government, sports England and the RFU have been essential to allow us to weather the sudden collapse in income. It remains challenging and I need to thank all those involved in obtaining the additional income received to date that is helping us keep our heads above water.

Caldy Rugby Senior Section – DOR Gareth Davies

I hope that everyone is well and coping during these difficult times and look forward to seeing you all back at Paton Field as soon as possible. Good news for the 1st XV is that they were promoted as Champions to National One for the upcoming season. After a winning streak of 25 from 25 games I always hoped this would the case but as with other sports there was always the possibility that the season would be declared null and void, and we would have to do it all over again. The lads all enjoyed an online beer or three to celebrate the promotion and we now look ahead to next season. On a personal note, it has been a pleasure to oversee the great work this season and to work with fantastically talented coaches Matt, Rich, Sooty, CJ, Dave Adams and the medical team who have made my life as easy as it could be. The players are an incredible bunch of individuals but a more incredible team who came through difficult periods in games and found ways to win which I feel is the sign of quality. Most recently we had six players named in the Rugby paper team of the year Adam Aigbokhae, JJ Dickinson, Cameron Davies, Nick Royle, Rhys Hayes and Lewis Barker which is a testament to the great work everyone did and I’m sure we could all name others who were perhaps deserving of a selection.

I am pleased to say that the bulk of the squad and backroom staff have agreed to stay next season with only John Whittaker unable to commit to the travelling due to his work commitments and he has subsequently returned to Sandbach RUFC and we wish John all the best. John has been with us for the past three seasons and has been exceptional on and off the pitch. He will be sorely missed. The other departure is physiotherapist Chris Malkin who is also unable to commit to the travelling etc with his work and family commitments and will be on the side lines at Anselmians this year. Chris played a huge role last season in keeping the boys healthy and was a great character off the pitch with his calm and positive nature. We wish Chris all of the best and hope to see him at the club when he is free for a beer. In terms of incoming players, we have spoken a number of new arrivals and will confirm them separately over the next few weeks when the paperwork has been returned and registered.

Training in small groups, as per Government Guidelines, has just commenced and the players are eager to get back to it and the challenges of National One including visiting some new clubs like Yorkshire Carnegie, Tonbridge Juddians and Taunton 

It is our intention to play regular 3rd team games during the 2020/21 season and anyone willing to help us achieve this please let me know.

Can we ask that members of the Senior Section renew your subs on the GMS system accessed on our website. Roger is more than willing to talk you through the process and his mobile number is 07583 236915

Thanks to all those kind people who donated their ticket money for the Past Players Lunch. It made a big difference to us!

And a big thanks also to John Lyon, ably supported by Bob Cooke, for the excellent Friday Feeling and Match Reports last season. When you can’t make the match, it is great to follow the game on Twitter and What App. We want to continue to build on the improved communication for next season. 

A final plea for support is to ask people to sponsor a player! We have a great bunch of players who are very committed to Caldy Rugby Club. During the lockdown and more recently they have been ringing people up and thanking them for their support over the season and I am told they are creating a work party to carry out work on the club and grounds – Phil Wylie has told me that the Last of the Summer Wine Gang will be saving the more physical jobs for them. By sponsoring a player, you are buying their kit and stash for him. If ever a bunch of players deserve our support this squad certainly do.

If you are willing to sponsor a player, or why not get together as a group or do it as an age group, sponsorship costs £550 (including £50 on your sponsored player’s membership card). If you are able to do so let Gareth know on

Community Rugby Section – Lynn Ridgway, Community Rugby Chairwoman

As we continue through these strange times, I hope this finds you all safe and well. 

Thank you to all of you who volunteered to help with Covid 19 issues, it is very much appreciated. 

Going forward, we plan to purchase a 2nd portable floodlight for the 3rd pitch that will enable better use of the pitch and provide protection for pitch 2 in doing so. We will start fund raising activities as soon as we can.

Our soon to be junior colts have made the decision to play 2 years at Senior Colts level in order that our present juniors can see out their Caldy years. Due to reduced numbers, they did not have enough players to see them through on their own. Many thanks to all of the players who made the decision that will allow their now teammates to continue play. 

The latest advice from the RFU is below.

Whilst recognising people will be keen to get back to rugby, they will be equally excited to connect with their friends socially and as part of their exercise regime. Coaches are encouraged to introduce rugby skills gradually and to focus on physical preparation in the form of ACTIVATE, MOVEMENT CHALLENGES during the first few weeks of group training. For more information and resources please visit our on-demand webinar.

Rugby is a game where close physical contact is a key feature. In phase B, coaches should ensure they pay strict attention to how they plan and facilitate coaching sessions to ensure players are not in close contact. 

The advice below includes measures to maintain hygiene and minimise unnecessary interactions with others. Coaches will be operating in a range of different environments like clubs or public spaces. Assessing whether an environment is safe will depend on a range of factors, which apply differently at each venue. A risk assessment should be completed before any activity happens. A Covid-19 practical coaching session risk assessment document is also available. Coaches and clubs should complete this document before any coaching activity happens.

Coaching Sessions

All activity should be consistent with the government guidance regarding health, travel, social distancing and hygiene at all times.

Coaches should consider safety first, particularly minimising the risk of infection and transmission. A thorough risk assessment must be undertaken (or updated if one has previously been completed), and appropriate measures put in place to ensure participants, (including the coach) are protected.

Practical tips

1. 2m social distancing between players, and between the coach and players should be maintained at all times

2. Coaches should ensure players are clear on how social distancing will be maintained during the session

3. Coaches should consider how they will instruct, demonstrate, observe and feedback to players in a way that adheres to social distancing guidance

4. Sharing of equipment kept to a minimum.

5. Any equipment used in a session i.e. balls should be disinfected prior to and after every session

6. Players should wash or sanitise their hands before and after all sessions

7. If players are passing the ball to each other they should be constantly reminded to not touch their face during the session

8. In the transition between activities or during rest periods players should maintain social distancing

9. All equipment should be removed from the training area and disinfected before it is used by others

10. To discourage touching of faces to remove sweat coaches should consider making available disposable hand towels and sanitiser for players to use during the session

11. There should be no sharing of water bottles

12. No more than one group should be active on each quarter of any pitch

13. Parents/carers are permitted to observe a session at a distance from a safeguarding perspective but must observe social distancing guidelines

May I take this opportunity to remind everyone of their duty as members, to the care of the grounds at Caldy. We appreciate that during lockdown people need to get out and exercise and this includes exercising pets. If using Paton Field dogs must be kept on a lead at all times. 

Children should not ride their bikes on any of the pitches. 

The last of the Summer Wine Crew work extremely hard to care for our pitches, even during lockdown, and it is unfair that they should be damaged in any way through carelessness. 

In the meantime stay safe and enjoy the sunshine. 

Cricket Section – Dave Brown, Cricket Chairman

“In respect of cricket the season has unfortunately not commenced, and the latest information from the ECB is that there will be no cricket until at least 1st August 2020 in England.

Our league have already confirmed no promotion or relegation this season and therefore if there is any cricket to be played it is likely to be friendlies.

Despite the lack of cricket we have been keeping on top of the ground works, investing in treatments to maintain and improve the squares. 

Recently the ECB have confirmed the nets can be used in specific circumstances, with members having to book their usage and follow specific guidance on use. We have been communicating members who have volunteered to supervise specific times of the nets opening and who members can book usage and will continue to do so.

Please see the club website, twitter and facebook pages for the information of when the nets are open for use and who to contact to book. We will continue to update via those communications and email any further information from the ECB as the summer develops.

Junior cricket wise we have been developing a new model for coaching and training with the assistance of our coaching team and will be providing further information on this in due course, most likely now to be introduced in the 2021 season.

In the meantime, the committee are working hard on plans for the 100-year anniversary of the club in 2021.”

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