We Need Your Support Now More Than Ever
The impact of Covid-19 has resulted in us losing our rented facilities on which to train and play, our access to other facilities closed and no income/revenue for the last six months. We still have no idea when we can dust off our boots and get back to rugby.
This interruption in income seriously jeopardises the future of our Club, not just the planned grounds maintenance we had hoped for in order to improve our facilities on games days but also the ability to provide fitness and training facilities for our players and ensuring we have a Club/home/ground to come back to post-Covid-19.
Saturday matches were also a chance for our local community members to get together, catch up with old friends and, for some, a chance to get out of the house. During the pandemic, as some may be shielding, they have not had that chance to get out and enjoy something they love.
We are therefore calling on our local community, club members, supporters, our local residents and businesses to try and help get us through this crisis and get us back on track.
Our club is entirely run by a family of volunteers. These volunteers deliver over 3000+ hours per year in volunteer time, maintaining the facilities, delivering community and social events, running the bar and merchandise shop on match days, coaching, safeguarding and child protection, managing fixtures and training schedules, memberships, the club’s finances, governance and grants.
Whilst the generosity of volunteers keeps the club running, maintenance and development costs money. To cover our costs, the club is largely reliant on memberships, sponsorship, match-day revenue and social functions.
Not only did all this come to an abrupt halt in mid-March with the Covid-19 outbreak with the facilities forced to close but we are now having to seek and secure other training facilities and support from other sources – which costs money. With no return to rugby and no fundraising or events allowed in the foreseeable future this will cause a considerable drain on the Club’s limited finances.
What Will We Do with Your Support?
Before lockdown, the club were planning to upgrade the playing facilities at our home ground facilities (St John Rigby College); installing drainage and improving the pitch in preparation for the start of the new season and provide a second pitch on the outer fields for our 2XV and 3XV home games.
However, the lack of income from the current season means that this will now not happen. In addition, due to the closure of the College, the open age teams need to find somewhere else to train, keep fit and remain together both mentally and physically.
As a community club, we are very conscious of the effect on the mental and physical well-being of not just our players and members but the community as a whole without access to sports and the companionship and friendship that brings.
The continuation of our facility improvements, providing opportunities for training and fitness and being a community club are critical if we are to continue growing our open age, mini and junior section and establishing new playing opportunities for our girls’ section
Any pledges received will be used to get this all this work, back on track by providing the necessary funds to
- Hire additional facilities for training so we can get back together to train and keep fit in our social bubbles and look after our mental and physical well-being
- Provide other avenues of training (such as gym sessions or online training videos) and keep our players healthy and fit in preparation for the return of the game
- Provide equipment needed coaching our Mini & Juniors in a Covid safe environment; in line with RFU guidelines.
- Continue our work with local schools to provide an introduction to rugby through fun & fitness and our rugby taster sessions.
- Look at providing other social activities (that may have to be socially distant) for our non-playing members who perhaps only saw a friend or neighbour at a game
- Provide RFU approved training & coaching courses for our new coaches to enhance our growing Mini & Junior section.
- To start putting in place the grounds maintenance on our pitches so that when we do return to rugby, we are ready to provide first class facilities for our home games
So please make a pledge and 'past it on!
Orrell RUFC is a very proud and much-loved rugby club, with an equally proud and much-loved history.
Established in 1927, the Club had a very nomadic life during its first seasons; playing their home games at quite a few different pitches until the club obtained the lease of a ground and hut in Winstanley Road in 1937. as the tenants of Orrell YMCA (at a very costly yearly rental of £4). Orrell played there until 1949 when our long association with Edge Hall Road began, little did we realise this time would be our rise to the top. In 1971–72 we won the resurrected Lancashire Cup without conceding a point, which also qualified us to take part in the following season's National Knockout Competition. In the second round we defeated the famous Harlequins and received nationwide press coverage, prompting the famous quote 'beaten by a lay-by off the M6!'
Building on such a proud history, even after we were misquoted as a lay-by off the M6, we have long supported the local community through its vision of being an excellent independent sustainable amateur Rugby Union Club and a leading provider of sports facilities in the area, recognised as a valued contributor to the local community.
Orrell Rugby is a high quality, well run club offering opportunities for all ages, genders and levels of ability; embracing the RFU core values by creating an environment and culture that promotes teamwork, discipline, respect and enjoyment and champions inclusion and diversity - whilst maintaining respect for our history and retaining our links with the past; incorporating changes in society, new ideas and new technologies and creating active communities. It has a long history of supporting other local groups in the area such as Eds (a charity for homeless veterans), Joining Jack and recently supported the first Orrell Heritage Weekend.
Whilst a top tier club, Orrell provided many Lancashire players, including Bill Lyon their current President and the late Des Seabrook who captained and coached Lancashire and coached the North of England to victory over the All Blacks in 1979. They also produced England players like John Carleton, who played in the 1980 Grand Slam team, winger Nigel Heslop, and Dewi Morris, at scrum half and other notable names such as Nick Easter and Austin Healey who both played for England.
Hoping to keep our proud history going, our 1XV will face new challenges/ opponents in the RFU North West 2 League when grassroots rugby is allowed to resume following the ongoing pandemic. Initially called the Development Team, the 2XV secured four successive back to back promotions in the Raging Bull Leagues, winning one cup final and narrowly losing out in another semi-final; and our amazing 3XV (who started life as a social/vets team) will start the season in the Nowirul Division 4N.
The backbone of any club has always been its Mini and Junior Section and at Orrell Rugby it is no different; with teams ranging from U7s through to U15s, a Colts and Girls Section; the section boasts over 120 boys and girls from U7s to U15s, we have been very successful with the Sale Sharks Player Development Programme and a number of our Junior Colts have now gone on to scholarships with Sale Sharks. Our girls’ section has gone from strength to strength with the players gaining success not only at county level but also with team rivals Wigan Warriors.
These girls are not only superb and talented rugby players (don't forget these girls were successful in their trials and played for Lancashire after just one season) but are also fantastic ambassadors for the game and sport in general. We are very proud that these girls not only represent our Club and our girls/ladies’ section but the friendship and fun being active and taking part can be.
It goes without saying that we are also very proud that the vast majority of the current 1st XV squad came through the junior ranks, following in the footsteps of their parents and grandparents, including our current captain, Dan Huxley.
The club openly supports our players being: happy, healthy and active and taking part in other sports such as rugby league, football and cricket (or other sports of their choice) and is always willing to adapt and be flexible in terms of training and match days so that everyone can take part in whatever sport or activity they want to.
We are also very proud of our reputation as an all-inclusive club, ensuring that everyone is treated equally and fairly and that everyone has access to sport in a manner that is relevant and appropriate to them.
The lack of a permanent home has not stopped our loyal supporters and we have had a very healthy membership of over 500; including social members who turned up to watch the teams play come rain or shine. Sadly, thanks to Covid-19, we can no longer host our supporters or be a part of our local community and we need to keep in touch, to grow and to help keep everyone healthy, happy and active.
We regularly worked with local schools in the area, providing coaching support or hosting events such as taster days during the World Cup with our school hosts. This unfortunately has now all come to an end due to Covid-19 and means that lots of children are missing out.