As the lockdown starts to be eased in small steps it is time for our report card. During this crisis we asked you to do three things:
1. Donate to our Appeal
It was very difficult to predict how the crisis, and in turn the summer season at Old Deer Park, would unfold. We did some quick estimates and decided that £50,000 was the right target for our Appeal. This number took into account how we would reduce our running costs and stop new expenditure, an estimate of what we might receive in grants, and how effectively our sister clubs would be able to contribute.
Through a combination of early subs that you agreed we could keep, donations including gift aid, sponsorships from Sheringhams Fine Foods and Nedgroup Investments, and through the RCC share of 121 coaching revenue, we have now collected over £51,000. The way that so many of you have supported your club is truly exceptional. From the RCC Committee - THANK YOU!
This puts us in a stable financial position, though with plenty of uncertainty ahead, and allows us to invest a little to help us out of lockdown. Our Appeal will remain open throughout the season as we seek to solidify our financial position. Grade: 10/10
2. Stay Connected
Many of us have seen how local communities have come together during lockdown, and we set out to strengthen the sense of community around our Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC). We are of the view that we must do all we can to continue this once the world returns to normal. For abut 9 weeks we published a news article every day on our website, which is now transformed. At first it was not easy to tell how much of this content was being read and enjoyed by our members. However, over the weeks the number of hits on our website increased, as did the number of followers of our Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts. For two weeks in a row we were the top ranked club on Pitchero - and that means people were coming to our site. Thank you to all who have contributed, and particularly to Miles for his “Who We Are” series, to Chris for his “RCC Through the Ages” articles, and to all of our Junior Correspondents. We also had 35 different households dial into to our Quiz - thank you to quizmaster Deaks for all of his hard work and his appearance from the White House briefing room. Our only concern is that the content is now drying up. Please do help to keep this going and to keep the wider club community connected. Grade: 8/10
3. Stay Active
Throughout the weeks of lockdown we built a video library of skills and strength & conditioning drills under the banner of Quarantine Cricket. This was picked up by the local borough who tweeted it to encourage Richmonders to take part. Thank you to Adam, to his flatmate and fitness instructor Nick, and to Burts, Ami and Will who all contributed. Grade for Content: 9/10.
As for staying active? Only you know how well you have done, so the Grade for Performance is ?/10 and up to you!
Restarting the Cricket Season
RCC were one of the first clubs in the country to open up our nets for 121 coaching and practice. We were able to do this due to the work that we had done prior to lockdown to prepare for safe cricket as the virus spread. We were also swift to extend to groups of 6 once the ECB guidelines allowed. We are now, carefully, starting to run some age group cricket in the form of parallel groups of 1 coach to 5 players. We are also scheduling adult nets in groups of 6. The schedule is published here - it is subject to change as we learn how to run these activities more effectively, have a clearer picture of demand from our members, and allocate coaching resources as effectively as we can. For juniors, your Age Group Manager will be in touch, and for seniors it will be the team captains.
We are introducing a reduced membership subscription for this abbreviated season - this will be £25 for everyone (adults and juniors) and is priced to cover our costs. Please click here to purchase.
We expect the ECB's guidance to change and we will adapt as it does. Please remember that those of us who are working all of this out are volunteers and we are doing the best that we can to provide cricket for our members and to secure the financial future of the club.
Finally, when you are at the club, please do all you can to follow the guidelines from the Club, the ECB and the Government. To steal a slogan from our friends at the tennis club: “Keep your distance - keep your club open!”