As we enter the second half of the season I would like to share some of my experiences and thoughts during my visits to the Cornwall Clubs and Rugby in Cornwall.
Of the eleven Clubs that I have visited so far, I have been impressed by the commitment that their volunteers give not only to their Club but also to rugby and their community by many different methods. The successful hosting of sponsors at pre match meals and buffets at Bude, Camborne. Launceston and St Austell not only cater for their followers but it also brings in welcome finance and occasionally new people to the game and the Club. Liskeard-Looe provide a very welcome hot drinks cabin adjacent to the pitch and Saltash, on the day that I visited, were selling home made cakes and goodies to help with a mini/junior tour. At Wadebridge, I was impressed by the number of helpers on their two pitches and in the Club House, all volunteers. The number of ex players attending the matches at Newquay Hornets and Penryn state much about the continual commitment and value of these guys and hopefully their current players will follow their example. Deep down in the far south west that great community Club, St Just, had just purchased adjacent land to extend their camping facilities during the summer with the intention of providing even more facilities at their Club.
However, there are unknown benefits to be gained when visiting Clubs and these outcomes include discussing their requirements to enable the CRFU to help to meet, as far as possible, their needs. At Lanner training lights have been arranged. Stithians had ten registered players and two committee members at the beginning of the season and have recently completed all their fixtures well done Stithians. May I remind Clubs that they do not have to wait for a visit. Just ask!
A very pleasant evening was spent at a Cornwall Rugby Referee’s Soceity meeting when a discussion was held entitled “Rugby in Cornwall” and the referees chose to discuss not refereeing but their concern for the state of the game. These included the loss of players between 16 and 18, the introduction of “Game On” and the reasons for the deduction of league points. Most enlightening. Monthly visits are made to the Cornwall Rugby Sages when an update is given on CRFU matters before they enjoy their pasty, pint and singing. These are always well attended by some great past players and stalwarts of Cornish rugby and I thoroughly recommend them to you.
A special highlight was to be invited to the England Women v. France Women at Exeter and not only observe a great win for England but the magnificent spectacle of some 150 girls ferried from Cornwall by our CDCs and others. The Ladies and Girls game is certainly growing in Cornwall from this interest and I wish them every success.
May I wish you all a prosperous New Year and I look forward to visiting more Clubs in the second half of the season.