Welcome to the start of Season 2018/2019 at Laigh Bent. Firstly, what a way for Hamilton Rugby Club to finish last season! Hamilton Rugby Club, ‘Club of the Year 2018’! We achieved this award against some tough competition including other big names within Scottish Rugby. This is a truly massive accolade for every player, volunteer, club member, supporter, sponsor, parent and member of staff within the club. It is testament to all the hard work that has gone on over the last few years. When compared to other Scottish clubs, we are setting standards for others to follow.
The committee are currently working on how we best celebrate this success over what will be a year of celebration. All suggestions are welcome! I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate Iain for presiding over such a successful season! On behalf of all members, I would like to thank Iain for his hard work throughout his presidency during which we held the successful inaugural Beer Festival, won promotion to National 1 as well as Club of the Year.
The new committee has certainly had their hands full over the last few months and I seriously doubt any committee before them have had such a baptism of fire. We as a committee, have already had to recognised and deal with a number of issues professionally, looking after the clubs interests and preserving and setting the standards that any top sports club will require in order to succeed in this modern sports world. It is vital that our club is leading the drive in sporting attributes, ethics and personal standards as well as business and sustainability.
Change is a foot in Scottish Rugby and no one knows yet, the final destination. It is important that our Club is more than fit for purpose and primed and ready to meet these challenges head on. The buzz phrase at the moment in our sport is ‘Minimum Operating Standards’. As ‘Club of the Year’ and as Hamilton Rugby Club, our aspirations have to be far greater than that and this will take some resolve and a willingness to change. We have to believe that despite a fantastic season across the board last year, this cannot be our destination but a massive step in the right direction.
I am delighted to say that these last few months have shown me that your volunteer committee have the skills and determination to work with club members in driving the Club forward to meet our aspirations
So what’s been happening and what can we look forward to?
Our Annual Beer Festival took place a few weeks ago and for the second year running was a massive success. We have increased the profit margin despite numbers being down. We suspect that the weather predictions held back the pre sale tickets a bit but we learned from the previous year and still managed to invest in the infrastructure of the event, which should reduce future costs. The Fun Zone, derived from last year’s feedback was a resounding success.
The pitch maintenance has been hampered by the very dry weather. While there are always issues that we would have preferred to have been attended to earlier, when you look out from the club house the grass is starting to grow now that the monsoon season has started and Laigh Bent is looking very green. To keep the pitches in the best condition, I would urge coaches, players and spectators to be sympathetic to any pitch maintenance advice issued from the Groundskeeper or Grounds Convenor.
Developments in the SRU’s plans for Agenda 3 and the Super 6 are taking up a fair bit of time with everyone waiting for official statement of fact. This is so that opinions can be formed and positions on our future considered. The potential for massive change is great and we need to be prepared to fight our corner. As this develops I will keep you abreast of the implications for our club.
SRU funding has changed as well and very high expectations have been put on clubs if they wish to achieve the standards required for Gold Level Funding. We currently sit comfortably at silver standard but have set our aspirations for Gold in season 2019/20 and 2020/21. The shortfall in our current position, almost entirely sits in Girl’s rugby and we will be working hard over the next few seasons to grow this sector. As a result, we will be exploring potential improvements to our infrastructure with member consultation an integral part of this process. Further development of Laigh Bent will maintain our position within the top tiers of Scottish Rugby
Next weekend welcomes the start of the senior league complimenting the youth leagues which started this weekend. It truly is all systems go at Laigh Bent. I wish everyone a successful season and I hope you all enjoy your rugby as that is why we are all here. Please watch this space for future developments.
Even although everyone is busy, the committee and especially myself, will always be available for constructive feedback and worked ideas on how we develop Hamilton Rugby Club keeping it the best community club in Scotland.
So as you can see there is a lot going on at Hamilton Rugby Club. We are in a very good place compared to most other clubs in the country but we need to keep ahead of the crowd. This will take everyone in the club working for the change and focusing all our energies in the same direction. Only by working together will we achieve the full potential of our club.
Updated 07:09 - 16 Sep 2018 by Bentlaigh Bull