Halfway through the 2015-16 season and the future looks bright for the Club
Its Christmas time and as 2015, draws to a close, we can look back at the 1st half of the season with a great deal of satisfaction and last Saturday reflected all the positives for the Club at the moment, with the days rugby launched with a pre match Christmas lunch at Well Hall enjoyed by over 100 diners and money was raised for both the Wooden Spoon Society and our own Well Hall Development Fund.
Later at the Rectory Field and in front of over 1,000 supporters the 1st XV played their way to a tremendous 12th win of the season, securing 2nd place in the League table going into Christmas. Amongst the delighted crowd watching the game was a large contingent of players, coaches and parents from the Clubs Youth Section, who were the match sponsors, which reflects the strengthening ties between the Senior side and the Clubs next generation, themselves doing very well on and off the field.
Later in the evening back at Well Hall there was a Christmas party enjoyed by players from many Club sides, from the 1st to the 5th XVs, as well as a number of club supporters. All were celebrating not only a great first half of the season but also a promising future for the Club, with plans announced to ensure at last its financial sustainability.
It was fitting that the match to round of such a successful first half of the season was sponsored by the Youth Section because the playing future of Blackheath FC also looks promising, with the Minis and Juniors in very good health through growing numbers, demonstrating our success in engaging children and young people.
The Minis have had an enjoyable if not overly winning first half of the season and a few notable results are U12s winning the Colfe’s B festival, U11s winning the Whitgift A festival and U9s winning their pool and progressing to finals day of the Saracens Festival. Membership numbers are not only healthy but also growing and we have plenty of volunteers – team managers, coaches and general helpers providing the support required to run the 7 age groups. The work of the volunteers is vital to the smooth running and how much it is appreciated by everyone cannot be over stated.
The Junior Section has had an active first 4 months of the season with a total of 46 matches played and have enjoyed the use of the new Pitch 1 at Well Hall and the facilities at The Rectory Field each week. On the whole the age groups have performed well winning more than losing and some prized local scalps have been bagged. Of note, the U15’s are unbeaten to date (P10, W10, L0, Points for 513 points against 73) and playing all of their squad each half.
The regular attendance of the 1st XV most Sunday’s this season has been tremendous success, both in terms of the #oneClub ethos and with all players, coaches and parents providing very positive feedback in terms of supporting the age group coaching, tweaking technical aspects & skills, new warm up drills and constructive focus on areas for improvement. Full credit to Colin Ridgway and his squad of players for their engagement, enthusiasm and continuation of this programme. In addition to the playing benefits, we have a new set of spectators watching 1st XV home games due to their involvement.
We also continue to have a strong representation at Kent. 5 boys from Blackheath U14 and 6 from the U13s represent Blackheath FC at the highest level in the county.
Sitting between the Youth Section and the 1st XV we have the men’s and women’s adult sections, also in rude health. In the Women’s section membership continues to grow and there is success on the pitch with the 1st XV having played 8 and won 8, leaving them first in their league. The 2nd Xv have played 5, won 2, drawn 1 and lost 2 to make them 5th in the league. The men’s teams below the 1st & 2nd XV are also generating plenty of interest from potential new members, particularly via the website and personal contacts of existing players.
So with a bright future beckoning, Merry Christmas from everyone at the Club, to everyone at the Club