Selby RUFC – “Keep us in the game”
The global COVID-19 pandemic has created a very uncertain landscape for grassroots sports clubs which is going to make it very challenging for them to survive - and like many other clubs, Selby Rugby Club is facing financial pressures with the on-going situation.
With our usual revenue streams significantly impacted, we are reaching out for your support to help us raise money for a Covid-19 Relief Fund. This will enable us to continue to provide club facilities for our members and the wider community we serve.
Who we are – and what we do…
Selby Rugby Club dates back to 1933 and has always been at the heart of the local community. We pride ourselves in being a family friendly club and regularly see second or even third-generation players coming through the teams. Selby Rugby Club is a place where competition and friendship go hand in hand.
We have four senior men's teams; a ladies and girls section; fantastic mini and junior teams that get boys and girls playing and training from 6-18 years old; and a growing O2 Touch & Pass sessions.
In the Community
The Club acts as a ‘hub’ for the local community and historically we have links with a large number of educational institutions in the area. Local schools regularly visit the grounds at Sandhill Lane and our aim is to increase the amount of rugby in Britain’s schools and promote rugby core values. We host inter-schools sports and provide summer sporting camps, along with extra support coaching for local schools.
Our local MP, Nigel Adams, invited ex-England Captain and Chair of the International Rugby Board Billy Beaumont, and CEO for the Rugby Football Union Bill Sweeney, to visit Selby RUFC to show how the Club is being used in the community, especially at junior level. Both Bills were very complimentary about how involved we were with local schools and spreading the word about the benefits rugby brings, not just physically, but also in the values that it promotes.
Schoolgirls from Selby High School and Brayton Academy, Nigel Adams MP, Bill Sweeney, Bill Beaumont
Our facilities are used beyond rugby and we share our grounds with the local cricket club, archery, running, cycling, and a meeting place for the local hockey club.
At the beginning of the year and in support of Doddie Weir Foundation, a charity cycle team led by ex-Scotland Captain and British & Irish Lion, Rob Wainwright, dropped into Sandhill Lane while cycling from Twickenham Stadium, London to BT Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh. Our President, Doug Skelton, presented Rob with a cheque for Doddie’s charity which had been raised at the Club’s Burns’ Night Supper. The cycle team were aiming to raise over £100,000 and Selby was very pleased to give them a well-earned rest and contribute to their fundraising efforts.
As a Club, we also support the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, and our Boxing Day meeting raises money for our hardship fund which supports our own players if they find themselves financially challenged through injury or other circumstances.
How Covid-19 has affected the club
Since the season was abandoned in March we have been unable to play any league rugby and won’t be able to do so until the start of the new season in September 2021. We have a pool of players who regularly train, but with the lack of competitions, we have seen a significant drop in senior players' membership. It may take us a few seasons to attract those players back again.
Like the seniors, the juniors also have had no fixtures. We have engaged with the players throughout the lockdowns and it was good to see the majority return to training on a Sunday morning and weekday evenings. Like the seniors we have seen a drop in player numbers and the decline could continue over the winter months. The teams are inclusive of all skill sets and age grades – we actively encouraging non-members to join us and experience what we have to offer.
We regularly host Yorkshire teams for both training and matches. Memorable matches in 2019 include Carnegie Academy v Leicester Tigers and Yorkshire 20s v Northumberland in County Championship Semi-final. Not to mention a very wet Warrington Wolves’ v Wakefield Trinity Physical Disability Rugby League final too.
At the centre of all our sporting activities is our Clubhouse which has possibly felt the most impact from the current circumstances. From the original hut of the 1940s, and with the forward-thinking of many club members before us, we are lucky to have the wonderful facilities we know today. However, with restrictions on gatherings in hospitality venues, our regular club, and social events, christenings and parties have been severely affected and limited footfall has meant revenue is extremely low.
So in summary, Covid 19 has affected the Club with:
- no competitive rugby since March for seniors or age grade;
- no use of our gym or changing rooms;
- no social events in the Clubhouse;
- no matchday entertaining for members and sponsors;
- limited food offering;
- no hosting of representative rugby matches;
- cancellation of the May 2021 marquee event;
Financially, this has lead to a significant loss of income, including;
- Loss of the Ball and Sporting Dinner £30k
- Loss of Saturday rugby £20k
- Loss of events £30k
- Reduced sponsorship £6k
- Reduced membership £6k
Despite this, throughout 2020 we have been able to support the community:
- Whenever possible, we have kept open to support and promote physical and mental health.
- We continued our age-grade/youth and senior training – following RFU guidelines.
- We supported our broader sporting relationships – Cricket, Archery, Running, Hockey.
- We have held ladies and touch rugby.
- We have expanded on the O2 touch rugby we offer, added additional sessions through the summer.
- We opened our clubhouse to all.
We have been extremely well supported by our Sponsors and Members, for which we are incredibly thankful, but with further lack of visitors to the Club over the coming months, our finances are being stretched very thinly and now we really need YOUR extra support…
Please help to "Keep us in the game"
We are looking to raise £15,000+ from our members, the community, and hopefully, fingers crossed, match funding from Sport England.
The impact of Covid-19, both socially and financially, is being felt throughout our country and Selby RUFC is no different. The Club prides itself on inclusivity from all social backgrounds and has historically kept overheads, training, and playing fees at minimum levels. Covid-19 has meant an inability to operate a matchday bar, host external events, and undertake our usual fundraising activities.
Therefore, we are asking those associated with the club and the wider local community to help by donating what you can.
Please let all your friends and families know about this CrowdFunder page, including the many that no longer live in our area, but who enjoyed attending and playing at the Club over the years.
Where will the money raised be spent?
- Providing appropriate support and facilities to continue training safely
- Maintaining all our pitches throughout the winter months.
- Supporting the loss of income due to COVID-19, providing support to all areas of SRUFC while we tackle the current crises
- Maintaining floodlights to keep our players and visitors safe.
- Maintaining our changing rooms and toilet facilities.
- Improving and maintaining our clubhouse
- Implementing measures to safely return to rugby from COVID-19 for all club players, coaches, staff, volunteers, members, and supporters.