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Chairman's Update

Chairman's Update

Nick Stainton7 Jun - 11:00
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Club news, what's going on and things to look forward to over the coming months

Dear Members.

It’s nearly five weeks since the 23/24 season officially concluded. The dust has settled after the final Sunday; the open top bus cavalcade, the Minis and Juniors fun day and the impressive Kites match. Since then there’s been plenty of end of season dinners, awards and parties to celebrate a remarkable time at the club.

There’s been an unprecedented level of preparation and planning. We strive to provide the best possible experience for members, players and supporters. Our promotion to the Championship has meant new relationships, regulations and standards. The reality is this isn’t quite Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams, “Build it and they will come.” We need to continue to be ambitious but affordability and being sustainable is paramount.

I wanted to share what’s been going on, club plans and some new specific Championship challenges.

Club wide the number of players putting on a Chinnor jersey grew last year. This included more adult games which bucked the trend seen across the country. Our youth section blossomed. The rain at times was relentless. We just about managed with everyone’s help to deliver more training and playing minutes than ever across more teams. In fact 22 different teams from U6’s to Vets!

For the first time all the full-size pitches have undergone a treatment schedule of verti-draining, reseeding and fertilizer. Growth is coming through well. Resting the pitches for a short period is key to longevity and sustaining higher usage.

The feedback about the clubhouse balcony extension and improved hard standing has been very positive. As much as possible we’ll replace the mud, including a pitch-side pathway. I think this will need to be phased, the priority will be to connect each end of Pitch 1 with a hard standing path. There’ll be other enhancements in the clubhouse and hopefully a fresh lick of paint in places.

With success comes increased RFU minimum operating standards for the Championship. These include medical and safety provision and media requirements. The RFU funding is less than we expected, a subject for another day, but we are prioritising the medical standards including new qualifications, equipment, supplies and match-day ambulance and doctor.

Media requirements include dedicated seats, enhanced filming areas and office space. First and foremost, we’re focused on improving power supply and this also needs to be extended to the filming gantry on halfway. On the other side of pitch 1.

One of the most frequent questions is around seats and stands. The minimum standards around covered seating is sensibly progressive. We’ve taken the view that we need to start on this journey and to enhance the level of match day experience. We hope to have a stand in place by the Rams bank holiday Monday pre-season game on the 26th of August. The Paris Olympics, of all things, hasn’t helped our endeavours but watch this space.

With regards building a squad to compete in the Championship you will have seen lots of players re-signing including Willie Ryan. Eight of the team were selected in the National One League team of the season. Could’ve been more, seven more! There’s also a few new additions and the possibility of more to be announced but most of last season’s players will be, quite rightly, the core squad for the step up. Minty has them in for pre-season and the hard work begins in less than three weeks. Match day squads are up to 23 from 20 players.

The fixtures for different leagues come out at various times. Due to starting later in September and finishing at the end of May the Championship fixtures are published at the end of June, beginning of July. Season tickets and membership will be available in the next fortnight.

Community & Social:
Last week during half-term we held four rugby camps at the club. Those that attended included members and children new to the game. A great success and entry point into the club and sport. The Summer camps including HAF are already available to book and with the likes of Morgan Passman involved they’ll sure to be entertaining.

We’re currently trying to help disabled young people get active through sport and introduce wheelchair rugby. Taster days are up at Lord Williams’ School. More details can be found here Wheelchair Rugby. For those that are keen to keep playing a form of rugby Walking Rugby maybe the answer, it’s in the planning phase and will a welcomed addition to the club’s offerings.

As we know it’s very social at Chinnor. As well as hosting big parties and wedding receptions during the spring and summer months we’ve got some entertainment of our own to look forward to:
• Boozie Bingo Beach Party on the 22nd June
• Abba Revival 26th July tickets and more info via
• Rugby Club Picnic Ball fundraiser Sat 28th of September, tickets via
• Big Business Lunch Friday 4th Oct launching soon with a business powerhouse speaker

What’s Next?
Over the last two seasons we’ve been aiming to match the quality of the play with the experience off it. We’re making significant progress, however, there’s always work to do.

The collective club goodwill hasn’t disappeared over these last few weeks. Thank you to everyone who has come forward with offers of help and support. Much of the progress and plans are underpinned by our members, their expertise and willingness to get involved and lend a hand. This is critical for us to continue to punch above our weight.

This very much extends to our generous sponsors. We have been encouraged by the support extended to us and the value and enjoyment the club is generating across the local area. Next season it’s certainly the Villagers vs the Big Cities! If you know of businesses that we can speak to please contact me.

The AGM is open to all members and is on the Tuesday 9th July 7pm at the club.
Have an enjoyable summer. Excited for what lies ahead.

Kind regards,

Nick Stainton
Club Chairman

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