End of season, league standings and getting through this together
As we all now the 16th March was officially the premature end of our 2020/21 Season.
The RFU and NCA have now, using a fair points system for the remaining games, calculated the final league positions: After some fantastic wins home and away against the likes of Rams (2nd) and Roslyn Park (3rd), Club finished in 5th place for the 2019/20 season having faltered in some games this season where Wins were expected but not achieved notably away at Sale and Bishop Stortford plus some disappointing home form losing out (albeit narrowly) to Chinnor, Richmond, Cinderford and OE’s.
Congratulations to our old friends at Richmond who bounce straight back up to the Championship having finished clear league winners. Good Luck to them!
We welcome in their place Carnegie (Leeds) down from the Championship plus Caldy league winners from N2N and Taunton winners from N2S along with runners up Tonbridge Juddians.
The final league standings are here
Blackheath Ladies finished 3rd in Championship 1 South and the Bandits won Kent Met 3, being promoted to the Kent Invicta League for next season.
We all now look ahead to our 2020/21 season.
Yesterday should have been one of those fantastic ‘Club’ days that we all love, with a full house for lunch, BIG crowd, sun shining and a great home Win for Club. As many of you will be aware it was also to be our last home game of the 2019/20 season and the 1st XV would have been looking to exact revenge against Darlington Mowden Park. That was due to be followed by our Bandits who were looking forward to playing the Pacific Islanders RFC immediately after the 1st XV game.
Add to that we were then going to follow these two games with our End of Season Awards and Party.
That was all before COVID-19.
IT IS IMPORTANT THAT WE ALL TAKE NOTICE OF THE GOVERNMENT HEALTH GUIDELINES AT THIS TIME.
As we make our way through these difficult times as a Club, we would like to say a massive “Thank You” to all of our Members, Supporters, Sponsors and Friends who are all engaged on the front line dealing with their day to day lives and managing this pandemic as Frontline and Key Workers. It is truly amazing to see how people can be so selfless in such difficult times. We would also like to take the opportunity to send our best wishes to those that have been impacted by this terrible virus also to their families and friends. We truly hope that as many of us as possible get through this and get the opportunity to celebrate on the other side together.
As Club we have had just over two weeks to get ourselves together and start patching ourselves up after the government announcements of no more events at Well Hall followed by the RFU statement that we have no more Rugby which followed shortly afterwards. This was truly a hammer blow to our Club but (but) we are fighting and will continue to fight and we are getting more confident that we are edging closer to some sort of financial stability, however the BIG question still remains; “HOW LONG DO WE PLAN FOR?” We simply do NOT know.
As yet the Government funding, RFU funding and Bank lending has yet to kick in and we are hoping that these will be activated sooner rather than later.
With that in mind we would like to offer massive thanks to everyone who has responded already to our Appeal to help during this time and also thank you for your willingness to help plus your determination to help us all to get through this together, it has been truly a remarkable show of togetherness. The response has been everything we’d hoped for and since the first email over two weeks ago we have had:
- 100 + people signing up for new membership
- 35 + people buying credit to spend at the bars when we reopen (we are expecting everyone to join us that first evening)
- More than 20 people making generous donations
- An article in The Times by our very own Mr Patrick Kidd, himself a loyal Club supporter highlighting the need for us to respond to such an appeal, if at all possible, and buying his IPA in anticipation of next season
However as we explained last week there is still a tremendous amount of work to be done, even whilst we are in lockdown:
We start our Pitch 1 major renovations on Monday 6th April and at this point we’d like to thank our Groundsman Frank Turner who has been getting things ready on his own these past two weeks in preparation for the works ahead.
The decision has been taken that we must prepare for the new season (as normal), even in the absence of an indication let alone a definitive date for its start and this preparation extends to the re signing of the current 1st XV squad players plus the signing of new players whilst all the while organising pre season fixtures, looking at possible new kit designs, approaching sponsors, business partners and giving the Well Hall site a full “wash and brush up” thus making sure we are absolutely ready to go when the COVID-19 crisis is behind us and the current lock down is lifted.
There are also the works starting on Pitch 3 with the go ahead for new posts only being possible due to the positive on line appeal response by our Great Membership! Thank you.
This coincides with works at Hervey Road which was all planned and essential and costed at in excess of £20,000 across the sites, mainly due to the extraordinarily wet winter but again only made possible due to our fantastic Members, Sponsors, Supporters and Friends.
But that support is still sorely needed if we are to be competing again next season. So we are still asking that anyone who has yet to take advantage of some of the offers which have the added benefit of helping our Club get through these extraordinary times I would ask you to see below:
- The Early Bird Membership is still running here, where you can buy your next seasons membership at this seasons price, with paying for the year and the monthly instalments available (if you are on monthly instalments now they will need to finish before you can register for next season).
- The Beer Vouchers scheme (Membership card credit) will remain permanently open. It is very simple as the credit is assigned to your membership number & card, and can be used against any purchases in the bars at Well Hall or Hervey Road. It was incredibly popular with Members last season because it is so much quicker and more convenient than either cash or even contactless payments. Let me know by email if you want to take part in the scheme.
- Donations are invaluable in getting us through this impossible cash flow issue – if half of us donated just £25 it would generate over £8000. To find out how to make a donation contact Tim or Russell
- And online shopping. We have said many times about the ease of raising money from retailers via Easy Fundraising and with the surge in online shopping by everyone, this seems to be the easiest and cost free way to support the Club. The easy Fundraising scheme is now supported by Uber Eats, Just Eat, Dominios and Papa Johns, as well as all the major supermarkets & Amazon.
“Let’s get through this together.”
Please keep a look out in the coming days for details of our online Club Quiz Night. We are hoping to get as many Club Members and supporters as possible online for heads and tails followed by a pub quiz with prizes, fines and fun all done virtually over the internet. We believe we are the first club to try this but even if not it would be good to get as many people joining in as we can to bring us all together and enjoy something with our club friends.
Lastly, when we eventually reopen, we are looking forward to throwing open the doors and seeing as many of our Blackheath Family as possible to celebrate the start of our 2020/21 Season. We really do want to make it BIG!
Until then, stay safe, stay home.
Russell Ticehurst – Managing Director
Tim Brindle – Operations Manager.