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Old Reigatian RFC

05/07/22 – Message from Club Chair – David Forsyth

To all members of our Club, valued stakeholders and friends. Following what can only be described as a remarkable ten years as your Chairman through unexpected and challenging events for everyone at the Club, I have decided at the forthcoming AGM that it is time to step down from the role as part of your Committee’s carefully considered succession plan.

The foundations of success for all Clubs are based around its members, its values and its commitment to the community it operates within. As executive officers, our remit is solely to enable and protect those with no personal agenda.

The need for change and challenge on a Committee is obviously important, but the change must be managed through careful transition at an appropriate time. The plan of our Committee was a staged transformation. However, you will understand that as COVID hit the world in 2020, it was critical that the Committee continued to work together to protect your Club. As life began to return to normal, our long-serving secretary, the avuncular Peter Tharp retired from the committee, succeeded by Kate Birinder-Ross. I am now following suit.

During my 48 years of playing and serving the Club I have seen many highs and lows, but it is a pleasure to have come through such a challenging period which has included:

  • Obtaining planning permission for the new clubhouse
  • Co-ordinating an application for a grant from the National Sports Foundation of £850,000
  • Overseeing the construction of the clubhouse
  • Negotiation of the acquisition of new pitches and raising funding for the conversion of the field to pitches
  • 2 arson attacks on the clubhouse
  • Rebuilding of the clubhouse
  • Creating an annual preferred charity for the club raising in excess of £100,000 since inception
  • Developing a strategy to cope with Covid

We now have a club which is in a very healthy position with a facility recognised as a premier Club venue in Surrey and finances which are a world away from my early days, with strong revenue generation, solid sustainable profit, a healthy cash reserve and no net debt. Added to that our 1st XV were promoted last season, the under 23’s retained the John Douglas Cup and our Under 15 Girls won our first ever national trophy.

I would like to propose our Vice Chairman, Ben Hamps as my successor. Ben has a close and long family association with ORRFC that began with his father and now continues through his son and daughter, who play in the Junior and Girls’ sections. Ben has represented the Club in every senior team. Over the past nine years he has held a variety of positions including coach, team manager, Mini’s Chairman and Membership Secretary.

Having served on the committee for several years, Ben was elected as Vice Chairman at the 2021 AGM with the previously mentioned transition in mind. I urge you all to give him your support.

It has been my pleasure to serve the Club as Club Secretary and then Chairman for the last 27 years and I and the Committee will of course, ensure that a transition is handled carefully to protect the fine reputation of our Club.

To read the original letter, please click here.

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