Rob Jones Grasshoppers Chairman Message of 26/10/2023

26th October 2023

Rob Jones Grasshoppers Chairman Message of 26/10/2023

The Under 14s Grasshoppers loose on tour!

Dear Grasshopper

We are seven weeks into the new season and the Club is really vibrant with lots of sporting and social activity, as well as many new members who we very much welcome; once a Grasshopper, always a Grasshopper!

The long summer recess was a challenge with many changes in the club but it started with an excellent Middlesex Sevens event and ended with an even more impressive Festival of Sport which really show-cased our excellent facilities and our even more important hospitality. The Festival was also a key element in in ensuring the first financial quarter of the year was positive, as did the extremely impressive response from members to pay their subs within the quarter. Many thanks to all those who did so; it really did make a difference to our financial welfare.

The Executive / Management Committee met on 17th October with representatives from all sections of the Club. This is proving, I believe, to be very beneficial as it enables all sections to discuss all of the issues which are relevant to us all, whether sport, social, financial or stakeholder related. The Committee is also benefitting from a more open collaboration between our full-time Managers (Matt and Tracy) and our new Treasurer (James). This is enabling a much more granular examination of our fundamentals and therefore a means to make significant improvements in efficiency although our income, both weekday and weekends is lower than this time last year. Please eat and drink more at the club; the final of the RWC is just that opportunity!

Our senior rugby season at Level 6 is proving quite a challenge but on the evening of Friday 13th October, our 1st XV took to a floodlit field against Belsize Park. In a pulsating high tempo match of unusually low scoring, Belsize, who were 5th in the league table, took an early second half lead (10-3) but Grasshoppers stuck to their goal and secured a penalty and then seven minutes before time, scored a superb 35 metre try in the corner to win. On 21st October we celebrated 20 years of Mini and Junior rugby with a lunch and then enjoyed a tantalisingly close encounter with Chobham RFC which, but for conceding a last minute try, would have seen us take our first five point win. It’ll come, but we’re learning that Level 6 is a lot less forgiving with a faster pace, referees that blow quicker and the constraints of a relatively small squad.

Our Mini and Junior section are very active and the U14 Juniors have just returned from a fantastic tour to France and the RWC; I’m sure that will be an experience to cherish and one that created bonds with each other and with Grasshoppers that could last a lifetime. Meanwhile the Netball girls have increased numbers and are enjoying their training, playing and winning ways.

Amongst our discussions at the Executive / Management meeting was social events and we are all delighted that Emillie Wardle has volunteered herself as a "Head of Events”. Emillie will be looking for more helpers in addition to those already busy with Christmas events (Laura W, Glen C and George), but is going to make her first "all club” social a Halloween Party on Friday October 27th. Working with the Senior Rugby section, Emillie will also be coordinating the Middlesex Sevens on 11th May 2024 and the Festival of Sport on August 10th 2024; both great reputation builders for Grasshoppers. There will be other Festivals and Socials too for the other sections of the club (dates still tbd) so look out for Emillie’s posters!

And finally, the Match Day Lunches are increasingly popular thanks to George’s efforts and the Christmas lunch on 9th December is already in high demand so please secure your places by emailing as soon as possible. Good luck to everyone in all your endeavours!

Rob Jones

RFU Accredited Club