MRFC News & Events 2012/13

News and reports to Paul Morgan

 

** Read Latest and previous MRFC Newsletters here **

Youth News

 

Welcome to Maidenhead RFC's news and events page

There is lots going on at the club and here we hope to keep you up to date with what's coming up and reports on recent events.

 

Events

 

 

 

News

 

Jean Kingsley

After 3 years as Maidenhead RFC General Manager, Jean Kingsley is stepping down from her role to concentrate on her other businesses and to allow her to spend more time with her family. 

Jean's exceptional contribution to club life was rewarded at the recent AGM by being made an Honorary Life Member of the club, a very much deserved appreciation of her dedication and hard work over the years. 

Jean will still be supporting the club in an advisory role as we seek to find a suitable replacement.

Once again thank you Jean and we hope to see you at the club enjoying the social side next season.

Stephen Bough, Maidenhead RFC Chairman

The Touch League is returning to Maidenhead RFC

The Touch League is returning to Maidenhead RFC on Tue 23 April. The league will host both a men's division with games kicking off at 6.30pm and mixed divisions with games kicking off at either 7.10pm or 7.50pm (at least 2 women need to be on the pitch at all times for mixed games).

We will be holding free touch taster sessions this Tue (9 April) and next Tue (16 April) from 6.30pm - 8pm on the top pitches so if you have never played before come on down and give touch a go! It is easy to pick up, great for fitness and lots of fun. We welcome (players, coaches, parents, supporters) everyone 16+ of any ability!

Anyone keen to enter as a team or individual should contact Sammie Phillips (phillipssamantha@rocketmail.com / 07766 525 938.

Coaching Alignment session

43 coaches representing ten age groups took part in a Coaching Alignment session with respected RFU Coach and Player Developer Nevil Jeffery.

The purpose of the session was to discuss and agree on a coaching philosophy and values to be adopted across our youth section.

Nevil asked the coaches to collective agree what each age groups needed to develop their players and reflect on how they wished to be seen by other and what behaviours needed to be adopted, ditched or retained to be that coach. Nevil encouraged the attendees to view error and disappointment as a positive learning experience.

We then reached consensus on four common principles that we would be personally prepared to uphold and stand by.

Within the age groups the coaches identified the skills and attributes they would expect of their players to take into the following season.

The outcomes are now being collated to be published into a working document to assist our volunteer coaches as they develop young people on their journey through the club.

The evening was an overwhelming success and subsequently generated a barrage of constructive tweets, email and conversation by the coaches which showed commitment to make positive change.

Nevil commented on the potential of the document to become a second model of good practice and provided a platform for repeating the exercise across the county.

The session supported the programme of Coach Education event arranged throughout the season.

Snow doesn't stop rugby at Maidenhead

An army of of over 50 volunteers turned out on Saturday to clear the snow off the AGP pitch. It was a fantastic effort and it showed the value of the new pitch as there were two games on Saturday and lots of Youth rugby on Sunday.

Just a shame that neither of the senior oppositions of Old Patesians and Bicester were able to make the trip on Saturday!

Thanks to everyone who turned up to help.

Lots more pictures in the Gallery

Help Shift the Snow

ALL HANDS ON DECK - we need as MANY volunteers as possible down at the club for 9.00am tomorrow (Sat 19th) morning to help clear the pitch of snow - bringing snow shovels and / or stiff brooms. Only 10 people will certainly struggle!

All rugby eyes will be on us and it would be good to get games on tomorrow IF humanly possible.

If it still snowing at say 8.00am tomorrow morning and pointless even trying - If so, another email / text will be sent earliest to you. PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD

Wasps v Bath Academies

The club will be hosting a match after our 1st XV game on Saturday at 5.00pm between Wasps and Bath Academies.

Everyone is welcome to watch.

Maids U21 v Marlow U21

Saturday 29th Dec.

Maidenhead players currently away at Uni are combining to play Marlow Under 21s - Kick off 1pm on main pitch.

Hope to see you there to cheer on the Maidenhead boys and have a few beers. All welcome.

London Irish v Wasps U18s

Sat 22nd KO 2pm

The club are hosting the London Irish and Wasps U18s match on the AGP pitch on Sat 22nd. Kick-off is 2pm

Everyone is welcome to watch.

 

Josh Henderson England Mascot -Updated

Josh Henderson with James Haskell

November 5 has always been a special date in the calendar of every youngster, but for one lucky group of under-12s it was to be a day of once-in-a-lifetime memories. O2, as a longstanding partner of the RFU and keen supporter of grassroots rugby, invited young players from the senior squad's formative clubs to attend the England rugby training camp at Pennyhill Park in Bagshot.

 

Josh Henderson, who plays rugby union at Maidenhead RFC, was one of 34 young players invited to Pennyhill to watch England train ahead of Saturday's game against Fiji at Twickenham. Josh met former Maidenhead RFC player James Haskell at Pennyhill and watched him train with his England team-mates.

 

"It was an amazing day and very exciting to meet all the England players, and especially James Haskell who used to play for the same club as me" said Josh "I really can't wait for the South Africa game now and hope I get to run out onto the pitch."

 

England Captain Chris Robshaw said: "It's been really great to meet the young players and be reminded of the many junior clubs from where we came.

 

Update

James has now been confirmed as in the match squad to play South Africa. As a result Josh will walk out at Twickenham wearing full club kit as James's mascot.

 

Josh lives in Bray and has been at the club since he was 5. The game will be shown live at the club this Saturday. As part of the initiative we will have a number of goodies to distribute such as paper scrum caps and flags.

 

Maidenhead Ladies at the Heart of Berkshire

Berkshire Women recorded their first county win since resurrecting the team in 2011 with a solid 18-12 away against Dorset & Wiltshire.

The team included Jenny Worth, Emma Lecount, Jade O'Neill, Laura Gamble, Lauren Cadle and Kirsty Griggis from the Maidenhead Ladies squad.

Full report on the Berkshire Website.

 

Maidenhead Ladies pull on Harlequins Shirts

Maidenhead Ladies pull on Harlequins Shirts

Four lucky Maidenhead Ladies donned the famous Harlequins colours on Sunday.

 

After their game with Trojans was called off by the south coast side, Maidenhead tried in vain to find alternative opposition.

 

When Harlequins Ladies revealed that regrettably they had a fixture, but could do with some extra players to bolster their numbers, Maidenhead Ladies Jade O'Neill, Lauren Cadle, Emma Lecount and Kirsty Grigg jumped at the opportunity.

 

Unfortunately, they could not prevent a win against a strong Teddington side. It was however a great coup for the Braywick ladies and a memorable one-off experience.

U11s selected for South East Independent Schools

Congratulations to Max Thomas (Lambrook) and Max Keller (Ridgeway) who have been selected for the South East Independent Schools RFC.

Both boys play in our U11s. Both are very talented.

Russian Rugby Union Team Visit Braywick 3rd and 4th November

Coached by Kingsley Black and Henry Paul, the Russian Rugby Union squad will be visiting us at Braywick and using our facilities as preparation for their game Vs Oxford University at Iffley Road.

Itinerary

Saturday 3rd November

2.30pm Squad arrives at Braywick to watch 1st XV match v Barnstaple.

5pm Captain's Run on Pitch 1 under floodlights

7pm Meet club members, players and officials in the clubhouse

4th November 10-11.30am Russian squad mixes with youth section for chats and photo opportunities.

12.30pm Squad departs for game with Oxford University. Some complimentary tickets will be available

All members are welcome to come and meet the squad. We hope that they enjoy their visit and hopefully return in the near future to actually play their games at Braywick.

Premiership Ticket News

London Wasps - 10 adults and 1 Concessions

We are delighted to be able to offer Community Discount Tickets at 10 adults and 1 concessions* in the Dreams Stand for our home Amlin European Challenge Cup games in October & December at Adams Park Stadium.

 

This offer is available to our CoacHclass Participants, Community Partner Clubs, Schools and recipients of the Community E-zine. Choose one game or use this discount opportunity to buy for both games.

 

Saturday 13th October London Wasps Vs Newport Gwent Dragons (8.10pm KO)

Thursday 13th December London Wasps Vs Aviron Bayonnais (7.45pm KO)

 

* Under 16s, Full-Time Students, Over 60s

 

London Irish - The Eight Ticket Pack

  • Save over 10% on advance ticket prices!
  • Pick and choose the games you attend!
  • Ensure you get the best choice of seats!
  • Use the vouchers in many combinations!

Our new 8 ticket voucher pack gives you the flexibility to pick and choose the games that you want to attend. Whether you want to make it to four games with a friend or partner, or come to eight games yourself, the 8 ticket voucher pack is perfect for you Call 01189 072277 to purchase your voucher pack and you'll be given a personal representative to help with all your queries.

The 3G Pitch, members to be remembered and the 22nd

The final round of testing on our new 3G pitch was conducted today, including the critical "head impact test" and I am delighted to report that all tests successfully met the combined requirements of FIFA and IRB to International level. I was told today that this is the first pitch in the world to meet the new combined standard.

There will still be some activity by the contractors over the coming weeks to finish a small snag list, but this does mean we have achieved practical completion today as scheduled, and the pitch has been signed off for the Club to use with immediate effect. Therefore all training this week can be done on the new pitch!

I would like to remind all members using the pitch that all IRB studded, moulded or bladed boots can be used, but please ensure they are clean! There is an FAQ on the website about the pitch that should answer the majority of questions, but please feel free to contact me if you have any other queries.

This is an incredibly exciting development for the Club that will solve our growing requirement for durable, high quality, floodlit playing and training facilities. These enviable new facilities are already attracting not only National but International attention. We have recently been contacted by both the Russian and Italian National Rugby teams who have expressed interest in using Maidenhead as a training venue prior to International fixtures. And closer to home Berkshire U20 has already booked the pitch to host their matches next season.

I hope all of our playing members enjoy the new pitch and have much more opportunity to play their matches in prime location in front of the clubhouse and stand. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to the RFU and RBWM for buying into our vision and funding this project and I'm pleased to announce that The Worshipful the Mayor of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead (Councillor Rayner) will officially open the pitch at 2.00pm prior to the first home game for our 1st XV on 22nd September, joined by other key guests from the RBWM and the RFU.

There will be a one minute silence prior to this match in honour and memory of Gordon MacDonald, a truly inspirational figure and great friend to the Club who sadly died earlier this summer. We will also be presenting our 350+ mini players with their awards from last season and hope they will turn up in Club shirts to provide an awesome guard of honour onto the pitch to help inspire our 1st team for this inaugural match.

Finally, on the 22nd September many friends and family of Rick Wheddon will be attempting a charity cycle ride from Calais to le Touquet in support of Bowel cancer research. Rick was a Maidenhead player, sponsor, youth coach and great bloke, but sadly lost his battle against bowel cancer last year. If you can, please make a donation to this worthy cause using the following link. www.justgiving.com/rick-wheddon

Please come down on the 22nd and give our players all the support you can and enjoy a memorable day at the Club.

 

As a result of some last minute negotiations today we will be supplied with a second small steel container which will be sited to the left hand side of the Club and will house the maintenance equipment for the new pitch. This means the new large 20ft container supplied under the contract for this purpose, located to the right hand side of the Club, can be used (in a few weeks) to store the Club's 1st XV training equipment. The new steel storage shed should arrive in 3 weeks. This means we will be able to let the mini's have the old 1st team container for their kit, as requested. We will also receive a boot cleaning rail that will be installed in front of the players entrance to the new pitch. Finally we will also be getting our own hydraulic raising and lowering system for the flood light columns, so we will be able to change our own light bulbs!

John Wanklyn Chairman & CEO

Artificial Grass Pitch (AGP) FAQs

The new AGP pitch construction is progressing and is due to be handed over to the club on 10th September. Find out all you ever wanted to know about the AGP pitch and the benefits to the club of installing it on the AGP FAQs here.

ENTRY TO GRANDSTAND AND PITCH SIDE SEASON 2012-2013

September 2012 there will be spectator access to the Grandstand and pitch side via 4 points - Left hand side of Grandstand, Right hand side of Grandstand, Main Hall and Bonberry Bar. These points will be manned by stewards before and during the match and an entry charge will be made as below (no change to previous charges).

Members 3.00

Non Members 5.00

Vice Presidents 1.00

Honorary Life Members /Children under 16 FREE

On payment you will receive a Match Day Programme and a hand stamp. Prior to the kick off we will be selling entry to the spectator area behind the bar to avoid a last minute rush. There will be a FAST TRACK entrance via the Bonberry Bar.

Message from the Chairman

AGM/SGM and Officers

As you know, no members, old or new, made themselves available for election as Officers at the AGM held in May and the summary of my AGM report stated that "In my opinion the Club needs some new blood with the ability, appetite and determination to take on senior leadership roles, be that as Officers, Committee members, coaches or managers, and take the Club forwards." At that meeting the members present charged the current Officers with continuing in post until a Special General Meeting (SGM) could be convened in July and new Officers duly appointed.

I informed the committee that I would not be seeking re election as Chairman at this SGM, and sadly no new candidates put themselves forward for the Office of Chairman or any of the other Club Officer roles for that matter. However I am pleased to say that Keith Lawton, Tony Brooks, Julian Rainford, Ivan Barakoff and Geoff Cowen were duly elected in to the roles of President, Director of Rugby, Chair of Youth, Treasurer and Honorary Secretary during the SGM.

The SGM held on Thursday evening started unexpectedly with an address by the 1st team captain, Simon Cripps, who read a statement prepared by Mark Mueller on behalf of the 1st team squad.

Firstly, I would like to thank Simon and the rest of the 1st team for taking time out of their training session to join the SGM and for the kind words written by Mark expressing his and the squads appreciation and support for me personally and as Chairman. His request and proposal for me to remain as Chairman, seconded by Simon and the subsequent unanimous support by vote from the SGM attendees was unexpected and constitutionally unprecedented.

This is not a position I sought and one that provoked some interesting discussions at home over the weekend! I do feel a huge sense of responsibility to the club and desire to see the new pitch project completed successfully, among other things. As no new candidate has stepped forward I feel obligated under the circumstances to accept the request to remain as Chairman, but do so with two specific caveats.

Firstly, I am not sure constitutionally how a member can be proposed, seconded and elected without first making themselves available, or in this case doing so after the event. So if any member wishes to challenge this situation, or after consideration wishes to make themselves available for the position of Chairman, then I will happily stand aside.

Secondly, I give clear notice that I will not stand again as Chairman next season. At the end of this term I will have had the privilege of serving the Club as CEO & Chairman for 5 years, and for my part am proud of the transformation in facilities and general club operations that I have overseen. However the Club needs to evolve with new blood, fresh ideas and renewed impetus to take it forward. So I urge all members to think now about whether they would be willing to take on key leadership roles at the Club in the future. If anyone is interested, please contact me and I will happily meet up and talk through what is involved.

 

Club Consultation Process

On to more progressive matters. At the SGM Dil presented the conclusions of the Club consultation process that we initiated after the AGM. Firstly I would again like to thank Dil Thomas for taking on this task and managing it in such a comprehensive and utterly professional manner. I couldn't begin to calculate the time Dil has devoted to this but I do know he met with literally hundreds of members during weeks of meetings and captured invaluable views, opinions, positive feedback and concerns. He distilled this down into core recurring themes and compiled a one page questionnaire that was sent to all members over 18 (we think!) The response was staggering with over 300 completed questionnaires which he duly assimilated and presented at the SGM on Thursday.

I would like to make three immediate observations. Firstly it is clear that during this process Dil has engaged a significant proportion of the Club membership, so the output is unequivocally representative of a large body, if not majority of our members. Therefore it cannot and will not be ignored.

Having said that, it is also clear that the Club is a very broad church with various diverse activities, sections and interests and therefore, unsurprisingly, opinions are equally varied and diverse. This clearly presents a challenge for the Club management to implement policy that will please everyone.

Equally, some of the issues raised are specific and easy to define, scope and with proper attention, put actions in place to resolve. While other issues are more esoteric and perhaps even shift with the evolving nature of the club. These are more difficult to encapsulate into action plans but are actually more important as they represent how members feel about their own participation in the club and what the Club means to them over time.

Basically this process has given the Club's management a lot of useful information to help shape future thinking and decision making. It has also presented them with a lot of work and a clear expectation, from the members present at the SGM at least, to see demonstrable and quick action. This is something we are clearly going to need help with from more of our members. So as the Officers and Committee work to define action plans and initiatives to meet some of the issues raised, I would again request that more members step forward to actively help define and implement these programs through the Club.

We have not yet had time to digest the full content of Dil's report, but as a starter for 10, here are the first steps I propose to address some of the issues:-

 

Improved Communication

  • It was suggested that the website among other things, needed to be more interactive and reflective of the whole club. This requires specific expertise and so I have asked Paul Morgan, our current Web master, to lead a review of the current website and propose changes to meet the needs of members. If you have strong opinions on the website, or even better, specific web experience then please volunteer to work with Paul on this initiative.
  • It was also felt that the format of the Newsletter needed to be more representative of the whole Club, or possibly evolve to have separate specific issues relating to different sections. Our current newsletter is solely compiled and edited by Steve Bough and so I have asked Steve if he would lead a review of the current newsletter and recommend changes in format to better suit members needs. Please volunteer to help Steve define the content, frequency and audience of the Newsletter moving forwards.
  • Direct email. Dil commented that our Club email distribution list was inaccurate and that currently we could not guarantee reaching all of our members with important news and information. This is a significant administrative task and I would request a volunteer with good IT knowledge to help us put this together. It would be really useful if this person or persons could join the Newsletter initiative above, as the distribution lists should be consistent and common.
  • Chairman's forum. Starting on September 11th 2012 I will happily free up the first Tuesday of every month from 7.00pm to host an informal 2 hour session with any members who wish to participate and ask anything they want about the Club, it's operations, finances, policies and strategy. I would invite all members to participate and make suggestions about how the Club could be improved. All I ask is that someone else volunteers to take minutes so any issues myself or fellow Officers cannot address on the night can be accurately captured, researched and then answered.

Youth Section

  • Gareth Andrews-Jones raised a specific issue at the AGM and subsequently at the SGM about the junior representative on the committee. He specifically suggested that this person should be a representative from the junior section. The Youth Chairman is an elected Officer of the Club, but the Officers also appoint a junior and mini representative onto the main club committee. I have asked Julian to convene meetings ASAP with the junior and mini sections to meet and discuss this and define a policy for recommendation that suits their requirements.
  • Louis Baylis Bursary. I have already sent a note out about this but wanted to clarify that we need the Youth section age group managers to meet and define the process and policy for the disbursement of these funds to support children from financially disadvantaged backgrounds. This is a great opportunity and needs to be in place by the beginning of the season. Julian will coordinate this initiative.
  • Junior training schedule. The new 3G pitch changes the way we can think about and schedule training activity across the Club. I have asked Tony and Julian to set up meeting with all playing sections to discuss and agree a policy for scheduling training activity and matches. The only practical limitations are that the lights will be switched off automatically at 10.00pm on all days except Sunday when they will turn off at 6.00pm. These were planning conditions.

When we receive copies of Dil's presentations and have time to further analyse the results of the survey, we will inevitably define more actions and initiatives, which will be communicated to all members.

I hope everyone enjoys the Olympics, your summer holidays and look forward to seeing you next season.

John Wanklyn

Chairman & CEO Maidenhead Rugby Club

The final word on the Member Survey

....... As planned, I gave the final presentation of the results of the membership survey at the EGM on Thursday 26th July 2012. Now that it is complete, I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone that participated - the response was magnificent and you all managed to turn a task that could have been a chore into a pleasure!

I am to provide copies of the material to the Chairman and the Committee in the course of the coming week. They will then decide how best to disseminate it to the members and, also, what actions (if any) they intend to take as a result of the findings and the observations that I offered them. I will not be communicating publicly on this matter anymore as my task is finished.

Given the somewhat inconvenient timing of the EGM I would, however, be happy to meet and take anyone that couldn't make it to the meeting through the results - either as individuals or as groups. So, if you are having a meeting pre-season, I'll happily come along to your venue and go through it all. Please let me know via mrfcreview@hotmail.co.uk if that would be helpful.

Thank you all once again. Dil Thomas

Message from the Chairman

Pitch project and schedule

We had our latest project meeting with the main contractor, Greenfields and the RBWM yesterday and as expected the unprecedented bad weather during June and early July has caused delays to the program of work. The current schedule now shows the pitch will be completed on 10th September, but two of the next key phases are also weather dependant, namely casting the rubber shock pad over the stone base and infilling the artificial grass carpet with rubber crumb. All of the heavy work including levelling and final preparation of the stone base, the surrounding tarmac path, floodlights and low level pitch barrier should all get completed over the next few weeks, with installation of the shock pad due to start on 6th Aug. The current weather is perfect for installing the shock pad, so let's hope for good weather in August!

Louis Baylis Trust

I am delighted to report that we have been successful in securing a 3 year grant of 1500 from the Louis Baylis Trust to help fund membership and other costs for children whose families are suffering financial difficulties. I would like to send a heartfelt thank you to the Trustees for supporting our application as this has enabled the Club to establish the Louis Baylis Bursary scheme. The purpose of this scheme is very simple, it is to enable children, who otherwise could not afford it, to become members of the club and enjoy the wonderful sport of rugby. Obviously this is a new scheme but the following principals have been agreed by the committee. It is our age group managers who have the most intimate understanding of the children and families within their sections, so any application to the scheme should go through them. We would also like to invite age group managers to volunteer to be the "trustees" of this scheme and review applications and make decisions on funding requests. The "trustees" should report to the Club committee so the disbursement of funds can be formally minuted and reviewed where necessary. The aim is to create a process that is well managed, without too much overhead or bureaucracy and where the sensitivities of any applicants are absolutely preserved. Julian Rainford will be contacting the age group managers to set this scheme up with immediate effect for this coming season.

EGM

The club EGM is tonight and Dil will be presenting the outcome of his consultation process, so I would encourage as many members as possible to come along. I hope you are all enjoying the current sunny weather and look forward to seeing many of you tonight.

U16s' South Africa Tour Blog

Follow the tour events, activities (including great white shark cage diving, whale watching, charity work in the community and match results etc. day by day on the U16s' tour blog!! mrfc-u16tour.co.uk

 

Gordon MacDonald

William Gordon MacDonald

It is my sad duty to report that Gordon MacDonald died on the 28th June aged 73, with his family and beloved wife Anne by his side. Gordon was a true rugby man, having played full back for Scotland before turning his talents to coaching.

At Maidenhead Gordon has been a key member of the committee in the role of Director of Rugby, but will perhaps be remembered by most for the amazing success he achieved with our Colts, leading them for several years to be one of the best teams in the Country. During this time Gordon developed many of the players now in our 1st XV, but also players like Tom and Max Evans of Scotland and James Haskell of England. Of all of his young charges, one thing is clear, they all adored and respected Gordon for his insightful rugby acumen and direct, honest approach.

Anne, James (Macca), Mel (Paddy), Rory (Rosco) and Euan (Bugs) have kindly extended an invitation to all who knew Gordon to come and celebrate his life with them on Monday and give him a proper send off!

Gordon's funeral will be held at 11.30am on Monday 9th July at Amersham Crematorium (Whielden Lane Amersham, Bucks HP7 0ND)with a dress code, according to his wishes, to include Maidenhead kit and colours (purple and black). The wake will follow at Maidenhead Rugby Club.

The family has requested no flowers, but would prefer any who wish, to make a donation to Bowel Cancer UK or Leukaemia Research Fund in Gordon's honour.

Myself and everyone at the Club send our heartfelt condolences to Anne, Paddy, Macca, Rosco, Bugs and the rest of his family. Gordon was a great man and will be sorely missed by us all.

John Wanklyn

Chairman & CEO, Maidenhead Rugby Club

 

Artificial Grass Pitch in the News

Lots of positive coverage in the news as the construction of the Artificial Grass Pitch gets under way.

Both in the papers and online in Premiership Rugby, Maidenhead Advertiser and the Windsor Observer.

AGM Reports

As agreed at the AGM the reports of the Chairman John Wanklyn and the Director of Finance Ross Drake are available to view and download.

John Wanklyn's report. Ross Drake's report.

 

Your News and Events

If your squad or age group has any events or news to promote please send information and details to and we will add them to the web site.

 

Previous Seasons News

Senior Section

Youth Section