Well once again the world is constantly changing regarding Covid 19. Hopefully you are all keeping well and keeping your spirits up.
Things continue to be extremely busy behind the scenes at the Club and also those independent organisations supporting it. There has been some great progress and outcomes. I would like to share some of these with you. This means this update is a long one but I make no apologies for celebrating and acknowledging what has been going on in so many areas in these challenging times.
I mentioned a while back about recruiting new Directors to strengthen the Board. I am pleased to announce that we have made a new appointment to fill the Media/Marketing Director role. I trust you will join me in welcoming Lee Kenny into the fold. A successful local Halifax businessman with several businesses and a real enthusiasm and passion regarding Charity and Community work in Calderdale. I am sure his skillset will add real value to the Board over time. Already a sponsor through his Snowflake Media group and instigator of the HaliCash match day initiative plus of course his organisation of the Halifax SOS weekend, shows a glimpse of the talent we have acquired to the Board. Welcome Lee.
Talking of recruitment, we have also been working with our partners at Calderdale College (recent winners of the College RFL National Accreditation Award) to appoint a Rugby Development Officer for the Halifax RLFC Academy Team to strengthen the team there and also have a wider remit for developing Academy Rugby at the College for both male and female student rugby. The numbers for the male team have increased to 30 since the introduction by the College of the ability to study for a Trade as well as playing rugby and that same option is also now available to female students. I am pleased to announce Andy Hollyhead has taken up this new role and wish him all the best.
Due to personal reasons, our Coach of the Halifax RLFC Women’s team, has had to step down and interviews are being lined up for a new coach to take this role on. A massive thank you to Martina Greenwood, for all the hard work she put in to get the team off the ground and also enjoy such a hugely successful first season.
Whilst on the topic of Women’s Rugby it is great to see that both Elland and Illingworth have recently set up their own Women’s teams and they, along with Greetland, continue to grow their long established girls sections. Boothtown have also just set up a girls section. I believe more clubs are also looking to set up their own girls sections. Great work by all involved.
Our award winning Wheelchair Team have said goodbye to their Captain and First ever Golden Boot Award Winner, Jack Brown, who is emigrating to Australia with his partner Jade. A true pioneer for the Halifax RLFC Wheelchair Team who will missed but not forgotten. Good luck to them both.
Congratulations to Brandon Moore on his loan spell at the Huddersfield Giants. I am sure we will see the benefit of that when he returns to Halifax for the 2021 season. Recruitment for the 2021 first team squad is still ongoing and our squad continues to grow. We are not there yet but will announce as and when further additions are made. That could not have been done without the fantastic support from all of you supporting the Club in whatever way you have and it has been quite humbling to see the support given. Also my thanks to Commercial and the Rugby Management Teams for their work over the last few months.
Special mention to other independent organisations that support the Club who are hard at work.
The Trust have appointed the experienced Mark Moore and Duncan Mitchell onto their Board. The Trust are hard at work creating a new website, including online shop, as one of their new projects.
Cashfax have appointed Chris Murgatroyd to help with their Commercial development. The new Platinum Package that has recently been introduced is proving to be very popular.
Club 1873, under the control of the evergreen Neil Arber, continue to raise monies for the Club despite very few games this season.
The Foundation continue to bolster their Trustee numbers with ex fans favourite Frank Watene being the latest addition. They are currently working closely with the RFL on the RLWC 2021 Development Plan which I am sure we will learn more about over the coming months.
All your work is very much appreciated.
With continued sponsor and fans support, coupled with financial due diligence and management within the Club, I am pleased to say we are able to complete the first part of our 3 year plan and will survive 2020. That gives us focus now on 2021 and the next phase.
Clearly the recent announcement of no crowds at sport for potentially up to 6 months, coupled with the cost of weekly testing will be challenging for us in 2021.
So we will have to be creative, innovative and be ready to change if we are to survive, consolidate and grow. If we continue to do the same things then we will get the same results. We simply cannot stand still as we will most definitely go backwards. That cannot be allowed to happen.
An example of that change is, after constructive talks with Calderdale Council, we will not be ‘going on the road’ mid-season in 2021 but playing a more conventional home and away structure throughout next season.
The Club has to be made ready for growth and possible inclusion in SL, in the future. That may be by promotion or it may be by franchise application. Who knows? Consequently, work is now underway with the RFL to understand what is required re franchise and what we need to do to get there so we are ready, should the selection process change and the opportunity arise.
Finally a special mention to Mick Scott who, this month, has retired from the Club and his position working with Cashfax. The word Legend is often over used in sport but Mick is one of those for Halifax RLFC. Player, Coach, Cashfax Manager and also in our Hall of Fame. This is just a few of the roles Mick has taken on for the Club over the decades. All that starting at Siddal, make this a real local Legend story.
Enjoy your retirement Mick and thank you for all you have done for Halifax RLFC.
I will be handing over future updates to my fellow Directors, so they can give you an insight into their respective worlds.
Once again thank you for your continued support and stay safe.
Dave Grayson – Managing Director