28 May 2017 / Club News

Annual report

Tonight is an opportunity for us to celebrate Caernarfon Rugby Club, a club that is so close to the hearts of everyone in this room.

I do not intend to discuss successes on the playing field apart from referring to the Women reaching the final of the Welsh Cup on 20th May at Bedwas, and their narrow defeat in a very close game against Swansea.

Also, the men’s 1st Team retained their place 3rd in the league at the end of the season by beating Bala away from home and winning the North Wales Plate in Eirias Park on 13th of this month.

Continuing with the theme of celebration, it is worth noting that over 200 children in the Junior section belong to Clwb Rygbi Caernarfon; they are the future. Any child who wishes to play rugby can attend - because the club offers this for free - the training, travelling to away games and refreshments.

How does an amateur club will manage to fund itself? Several sources. An effective membership campaign brings in income - and thanks for Idwal for taking responsibility for this on our behalf.

The Clubhouse: as well as a resource for us, it is also a resource for the wider community. Many events are organized there - christening parties, birthday parties, town’s children’s football teams presentation evenings. So thanks to Myfyr and his staff for their work in the Clubhouse.

Income also comes from the Welsh Rugby Union. Every team that plays a minimum number of games in a season, attracts grant money. Caernarfon is particularly active with teams from the under 7 up to adults. The Union demands evidence of this activity - details of the games, dates, locations, etc. - and thanks to Ieu for his dedication in collecting information and reporting on our behalf.

For supporting the club, we are extremely grateful to the sponsors. It's good to see some of them here tonight. We welcome you. We thank you for your financial contribution but also for your faith and confidence in Caernarfon Rugby Club.

I referred earlier to the Juniors. We can celebrate that the Club offers opportunities for children and young people to go on tour. Such experiences are priceless. Apart from playing rugby, young people will get to see new places, meet new people, learn to get along with friends away from home. Two who have organized regular trips for their team, are Gwyn and Gwyn. After several years of dedication as coaches in the Club, both are retiring at the end of this season - so thank you to them for their valuable contribution.

It is also timely for us to celebrate our players. This year, three of the Women have played for Wales - Rachel Taylor, Jess Kavanagh, Gwenllian Pyrs.

2 of the Men have also played for their country: Rhun Williams and Morgan Williams.

It is appropriate to note also the contribution of a former 1st team player to RGC this season - Andrew Williams. We can celebrate the success of each of these players.

In terms of resources - we can be very proud of our playing fields. The substantial investment has paid off and teams visiting Y Morfa congratulate the club on the excellent condition of the fields. The hard work of maintaining the high standard will continue with  special attention this year being given to the practise pitch as well as developing other parts specifically for training sessions – due to the high volume of activity that takes place on Y Morfa.

The club has just finished building work to create a medical room. This will ensure a suitable space to take care of the players’ physical needs and keep them fit and healthy.

As you know, the vast majority of the work at the Club, is carried out by volunteers. Their contribution is essential to the Club, and the club supports them in attending training courses - first aid, refereeing, rugby coaching, food hygiene. Vital voluntary work takes also place in the kitchen - sales over the hatch to feed the fans and preparing meals for the players. Gwil has been heroic in the kitchen this year and thanks go to him too.

In the Autumn, we held a MacMillan Big Coffee Morning in the Club House. There were wonderful cakes made by players and supporters and the takings were sent to the charity. Likewise proceeds of the Sweep were transferred to MacMillan, a charity that provides care for people at their most vulnerable.

Last Saturday a squad of approximately thirty-five people came together - parents, supporters, players - for a morning of volunteering. There was weeding, painting, cleaning, clearing, and Gwil prepared bacon, sausage and eggs baps as a reward for the work. Thanks everyone and we celebrate the work of volunteers.

Amid the celebration, we remember also those who left us during the year and I'm sure it would be appropriate to refer to Brian Thirsk. Brian made a very special contribution in many areas, but we remember tonight for his work in the Club training his team over several years, as children and young people. Yes they learnt about rugby, but also important life-lessons while growing up - learning about respect, about playing together as a team, about supporting each other. To see the team at Brian's funeral, wearing a shirt and Club tie was testament to the respect they had for Brian along with the hundreds of who went to Bangor Crematorium on that morning to pay their respects. His link with the Club continues through Gareth. So fond memories of Brian.

I want to finish with a personal celebration - I'm celebrating tonight that I belong to Caernarfon RFC and to the unique rugby family in this special town - like all of you. Thanks for listening and enjoy each other’s company for the rest of the evening.


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