So, the rugby community sit and wait, for Monday 22 Feb, Why? To see what developments Boris brings when he sets his plans for the nation against ‘Data, not Dates’ on the way out from lockdown. The patience and abiding by the ‘stay at home, stay safe’ message appears to be working with cases of the virus falling rapidly as we head towards Spring and the traditional end of the rugby season. It remains to be seen what can be reclaimed and what is manageable for local clubs but Chair, John Bullock, is sure that there is light at the end of the tunnel and he and his committee plan to be ready when given the ‘green light’. Mark Atkins, the Finance Director, has ensured that RFU grants and loans have been gleaned, safeguarding the Club, and placing it in a good position to make the most of whatever the future holds for Falmouth RFC and our community at the Rec.
Additionally, the CRFU, in consultation with RFU representative Johnny Stephenson, have been convening Club Cluster meeting to add more detail and understanding of what may be possible. They have also received detailed feedback from clubs about ’what they want to do’, meaning a joined-up, detailed, responsible and meaningful approach can be taken across the board; Perhaps 15-a-side games, with the newer law versions being possible; or perhaps intermediate games of smaller team numbers will be possible. What we do want at Falmouth RFC, perhaps before the end of season, is our players, who many feel deprived from not putting their boots on, is to get them back out onto the pitch. Director of Rugby, Graham Whitmore, is looking forward to the day when Club captain, Tom Spiller, and the players can start training to meet the end of season, and, perhaps, to look forward to a COVID-19 free 2021/2022 season.
Colts rugby, by its very nature of being more closely connected to schools, looks more immediately possible and Falmouth’s Colts Coach, Darren Becconsall, states that his players will be ready to get into action as the new half-term before Easter gets under way. This Club team have had an excellent early part of the season (before lockdown) with many talented players catching the eye as good prospects. The future of local and Cornish rugby looks safe if this is the calibre of U18 players across the County but it’s not just as players, it’s also their spirit - really rugby community oriented. The Falmouth Youth Academy players, and their coaches led by Pete Collett, are also eagerly waiting for the opportunity to get back onto the Rec and continue to enjoy their early progress in the game, emulating their favourite players from the Six Nations Championship (whose is yours? Are you part of the Six Nations Fantasy League?). Another area that may be able to return quickly to rugby action is the O2 Touch section: James Bunt, and his Monday night players, have drawn praise from the national England Touch Association (ETA) governing body, particularly how quickly they have grown in numbers under James’ superb tutelage (see :England Touch news). The ETA wish to track this rise in playing membership using Falmouth RFC’s O2 touch as a model - well done all, enjoy the game at Falmouth RFC and thank you.
As for the Clubhouse, Lou Casterton, the Clubhouse Operations Manager, is well aware that there will be many constraints and protocols to be in place so that the membership can safely enjoy the unique community that is Falmouth Rugby Club. But Lou, and her Clubhouse team, will be ready to make one and all welcome as the season restarts and appropriate Summer activities are introduced; what would you like on at the Club, both on the pitch, in the grounds but also in the Clubhouse? Let us know and we will see what we can achieve – The Rec, let’s use it for sport and the community.
Finally, it remains a time to continue to: ‘Stay home, stay safe but stay optimistic’; It can’t be long, can it? The future’s bright. The future’s black and White, be optimistic.
As ever, Falmouth RFC