I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas.
2022 has been a hectic year with a lot going on. We saw the back of Covid restrictions, capital projects being implemented, the loss of the Astro-turf due to flooding. The demise of the KAL Fitness (leaving a rather large hole in the budget) and finally the death of her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.
We have completed a number of projects such as the car parks before and after the viaduct. The ladies, gents and disabled toilets. The stand seating, this being completed by our excellent Lockwood Volunteers (Lovo’s). In the new year we hoping to start the staircase and balustrade from the balcony.
The loss of the Astro-Turf resulted in the Huddersfield Dragons Hockey Club moving to Storthes Hall. This enabled us to rethink what we should do with the insurance claim. It was agreed to install a 3G pitch, certified to Fifa and World Rugby standards. This will ensure good revenue as Honley Juniors are looking for block bookings with associate membership. Derect Tasker has worked his magic once again by getting a grant from Kirklees Our Space to install LED floodlighting to the 3G pitch.
On the grass fields, pitch 2 was completely re-levelled and seeded during the close season making it probably the best second pitch around.
There has also been a major refurbishment of the Lift, essential for disabled access to the Clubhouse.
Obviously with all these improvements to the Club facilities, they need paying for and although we have had loans and grants, there is still the VAT to pay out initially. This always affects our cash flow and remains extremely challenging.
It give me great please to see the Falcons back on our fixture list. Tremendous work from all rugby areas with special mentions for Darren “Irish” Nielly, Gav Rhodes and Joe Sheil. George Hinchliff continues to be instrumental in the new era of the A team.
The Senior squad has had quite a tough settling in period but is now finding it’s feet with excellent wins against Wharfedale and Tynedale.
The Academy under Michael “Stan” Stancliffe, has a very young squad but are performing admirably against older opponents. The numbers and commitment are excellent.
Age grade continues to thrive under the guidance of Tracy Davis and her coaches and managers. Their organisation is fantastic and it is great to see so many youngster enjoying themselves.
Jess Bunyard continues with the Womens and Girls rugby building an excellent reputation with local schools and growing the sections. Well done Jess.
The Bowling Club have completed their first season since the pandemic with all the team performing well. A special mention to the Ladies Evening team of their promotion.
It pleases me no end to report that in Stuart Leach, Nicola Woodhead and Lucy Bingham we have a team who continue to make a superb contribution to the management of our club, our facilities and our tenants.
The grounds and properties continue to be maintained by Mark Storer and Martin Sykes with the help of a growing group of Lockwood Volunteers (LoVo’s) whose assistance is greatly appreciated. Anyone wanting to help out with the LoVo’s, please don’t hesitate to contact the Club.
Once again’ let me take this opportunity to wish you all a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.
Mark H Birch
Huddersfield R.U.F.C. – Chairman