Gerry Lawson - Club President
In these depressing and sad times it gives me great pleasure to wish everyone in the club a very happy Christmas and hopefully a prosperous new year.
I Have been very lucky to have been in Malta for the past few months although I have been in touch with the island everyday. l feel for you all for the tier 4 restrictions you are now all in let’s all hope and pray there is light at the end of the tunnel.
My very best to you all and your families
Karen Gray - Chair
"What a year it's been! Covid19 has meant very little rugby has been played at Stupple Field and we have not seen our members and friends anywhere near as much as we would like. But, behind the scenes we have pressed on and made significant progress in other areas, this is down to the hard work and commitment of some amazing people.
Our treasurer, Daren, has pulled us into the 21st Century in the way we manage our club and he has clawed in money from grants, this has certainly helped us keep our heads above water. We now boast a lovely seating and play area which was the brainchild of Charlie O and was completed by Sheppey members over the first big lockdown. We thank everyone who donated time and materials to complete this project. John, Graham and Lee have kept in touch with our senior members and we were pleased to enjoy an afternoon of touch rugby with many of them, it almost felt like "old times". We also spent some happy afternoons watching televised rugby and maintaining social distancing, I particularly enjoyed the livestream of the Worcester Warriors match when we were all able to support our very own Taz Bricknell and her team mates.
Ian and David kept our U15s working hard and they completed some great lockdown fitness challenges. Jerry and Matthew kept the junior section running for as long as we were able to safely train. We are sad that we haven't had our usual Christmas celebrations with all of them but Santa and some Elves (courtesy of Charlie, Jack, Matthew, Lee and Donna) made sure a motorised sleigh delivered gifts to some very excited and happy little ones..... and maybe some happy and excited bigger ones as well; I certainly appreciated my own surprise visit and the lovely selection box.
We are proud that the club house has been used by a community chef who has produced meals for some of our elderly residents and, before the second lockdown, we were able to accommodate other community groups who had nowhere to continue their activities as premises shut down, over the island, due to Covid.
This year we have also forged a new working relationship with the Sheppey Sunday Football League who rent one of our pitches. This was negotiated by Matt Cheesbrough and we are now officially a multisport club. It feels good to be able to offer support to other grass roots sports and the teams and officials, who have visited us have been friendly and polite.
Now I have a plea; with the recent announcement of the identification of a new strain of Covid, if you are able to do so please keep supporting us. We have a lot of merchandise you can buy and your membership is valued more than ever. We are so lucky to have our own clubhouse and grounds but we must keep it going. I know some clubs are losing income streams but still having to pay rental to their landlords and, despite rugby rivalry, I know each and everyone of us wishes to see them all emerge from the other side of this pandemic so we can meet on the pitch, and the clubhouse, once again.
It now remains for me to say thank you. I thank our sponsors and I cannot wait to have you enjoy our hospitality on a Saturday afternoon. I thank our club committee members who have continued to make sure we keep going in the most difficult of times. I thank all our coaches, volunteers, bar and kitchen staff, there would be no club without you and I thank your partners and families who support you in doing what you do. I thank our members and players for keeping the faith. I thank parents for their continued messages of support and I thank all our rugby officials and visitors who have been able to come to Sheppey this year.
I have no idea what 2021 is going to bring for grass roots sport but I have faith that, with such amazing people working for you and your club, we will still be here in 2022. I wish for you, most of all, a healthy and content 2021 and hope that you are able to reach out and touch hands (safely of course) with someone you love over Christmas.