Hello All,

We have now largely completed a demanding phase for Hereford RFC where we have taken the necessary actions to close down or suspend rugby activities due to the flooding crisis and now the Covid 19 pandemic.

Where possible we have taken many cost reducing measures and changed our working practices to adapt to the lockdown where required.

We are moving onto the next phase which requires us to get operations running, along with turning our attention to how we manage the transition back to what a ‘new normal’ might look like for Hereford Rugby Club.

This is, of course, currently an unknown quantity; but we are working through trying to predict and forecast what the future may look like, as well as taking the very real opportunity to introduce changes that would be good for the game and Hereford RFC generally.

We are scenario planning to try to predict in which cases habits and behaviours will return to what they were before the pandemic, but also try to predict where changes brought on by the COVID-19 crisis might become the ‘new normal’.

Our members, supporters, sponsors, players and all who engage with Hereford RFC at every level, may form new and permanent habits and come back to us with different expectations, needs or demands.

For example, some of the questions we are working through are:

  • When will we open again? How will we make sure everyone is safe? It’s possible that people will return in larger numbers as people are ready to engage in sport and socializing at clubs, so how can we make sure we a ready?
  • How do we engage with each age group to shape the most suitable return to training and playing, while waiting for the RFU to come up with dates for the new season, scheduling of games, leagues and competitions based on medical advice and possible restrictions?
  • How do we give confidence to returning members, players, supporters and sponsors that rugby at Hereford RFC remains an attractive proposition and that rugby remains a form of physical activity which provides an accessible offer for all and is our main objective?
  • How will we cater for elements of our society who may remain vulnerable to the virus and continue to allow them to be engaged and part of the rugby family?
  • How do we stage events (both large and small) within the restrictions that might still be in place as we transition through the period beyond lockdown?
  • How will our business model need to change as we recover from the financial stresses we have been placed under?
  • How should we engage positively in the various reviews that are underway to reshape the season both in the short and long term. To, where possible, remove issues that have historically held the us back?
  • What is the ‘new normal’ for revenue, costs and investment in rugby and how do we live within our means in that “new normal”?
  • How will we continue – as we know we must – to fund areas where we had earmarked significant new investment? How should we adapt our working practices so that we take advantage of changes that have occurred, maximising the opportunities created with best practice, communication online enhance our digital offerings?
  • How do we work with all of our members, players, supporters and sponsors to understand how they have been affected and adapt our own new ways of working to meet their changing needs?

Lastly, and importantly!

The committee are energised to play our part in supporting the refurb and modernising of the clubhouse and changing rooms following the floods. The very generous donations via GoFundme, Hereford Council, Sports England, North Midlands RFC and many other donations of time and product will go a long way to help us achieve our end goal.

We will continue to do the right thing where each new opportunity presents itself.

Whilst this is a daunting list of issues to be addressed, what remains unclear is timing.

We don’t know when we will be able to move towards those solutions as the course of the virus remains uncertain, but what is certain is that we have specific plans in place to be utilised as and when required.

Our mindset must be exclusively on taking the opportunity presented to bring about lasting change and long-term benefit to rugby!

Stay safe!