Dear Players and Parents,
Welcome to a “full” new season 2021-2022!
We hope you, your families, friends and colleagues are as well as possible.
We are very excited that rugby is returning to Horn Park for a new season of “full” rugby on Sunday 5 September 2021, Minis from 10am, Juniors/Colts from 11:30am and Girls from 1pm. All the volunteers at Old Colfeians are looking forward to welcoming you back! Do look out for communication coming shortly from your Team Managers on what to do next. In the meantime below is our Welcome back letter from the Chair’s and Lead Coaches of our Minis, Juniors, Colts and Girls Sections containing news and information on what’s been happening and what’s coming up.
You will recall that last season’s rugby was badly affected because of the coronavirus pandemic. However, we did as much as we were allowed and all hope the worst is never to return. Over the summer we were allowed to play some modified competitive rugby to help catch up, our U13/15’/16/17’s enjoyed an XRugby 7s tour to the Cotswolds, (with the current U15’s going this October and the Minis going in April), our U16/17 Kent players played matches against other counties and the Saturday morning Touch rugby continued to give all age groups, including parents and friends, a great fun way to keep up with their rugby fitness. Even those who fancied a slower paced (but still high energy and competitive) version were able to join in Walking rugby which continues to grow in popularity at OC’s among parents and supporters.
It was especially great to see that our Player numbers actually went up last season, in spite of the Covid reduced rugby, as we continue to promote diversity, inclusivity and enjoyment at OCs; our RFU All Schools Programme will also restart soon and continues to make a huge difference to schools wanting to make rugby a part of their curriculum. Well done to all those involved.
We also express our enormous thanks and congratulations to Dave Hodgkiss who has stepped up to become our new Club President and Welcome Bill Blythe who is now our Club Chairman. Meet Bill and read his exciting vision for OC’s in his welcome letter here.
Going forward to the new season:
- Your Team Manager will be in contact with you to inform you or your age group’s start time.
- The registration and membership process is now open online using GMS.
- Kit orders can also be added to your GMS basket before you check out.
- Head over to our club shop page where you can also find other items including how to bag some extra things such as club Rucksacks and leisure wear via Tylers sportswear online.
- ‘The Yellow Bucket’ 2nd hand kit and boots scheme is also up and running, awaiting your donations and hoping to help players with items priced at £5 each
Please see below a temporary change to the age grade format will apply to the first 4 months between September 2021 and January 2022 which is on the England Return To Rugby page under Age Grade Changes:
Age Grade progression delayed till Jan 2022 – The RFU recognise the need to ensure players and coaches do not miss out on the vital building blocks for a safe and manageable introduction to the full contact game
The rules delay means, as an example, U9s in 2020-21 still become U10s in 2021-22 but will play U9 rules from September to December and U10 rules from January. This will also be the case throughout all the boys-only age groups at U12 onwards.
Please note, all players still do move up an age group for the 2021-22 season as in any other year. The rules
are the difference, not their age group. Age Grade rules of play are in the Appendices of Regulation 15 here
This delay also includes U7s and U9s; they will shift to their new rules from 1st January 2022. U7 is when players formally
start Tag matches and structure. Before this point it is more free-play, multiskill, fun early years ABC activity.
Joint sessions with other clubs are fine and a good way of providing a fun experience for everyone. Delaying
the start of the next set of rules ensures U7s have had this active, fun, inclusive foundation before it starts to
turn into rugby.
U9 players will have not fully experienced the team-play and shape of the game progressions of U8 Tag, which
build on the basic rugby techniques and skills of U7. They will learn and experience these in the first half of the
season and will then importantly, have a greater appreciation of space and attack/defence before contact
rugby is introduced from 1st January 2022.
There is no change for the Girls section however and the U13, U15 and U18 multi-age bands will move up and play those rules throughout the whole of the 2021/22 season.
From the 1st November 2021, Coaches will then be able to introduce the new set of rules to an age group in training and this can include playing internal training matches to help the players apply the new skills in a full game situation but will not apply to matches with other clubs which will still remain under the previous age grade rules until January 2022.
The above return to rugby roadmap further enhances our commitment at OC’s to give all our players a fun, enjoyable and safe place to play rugby, combined with the highest standards of coaching and safeguarding, ensuring that our players benefit from each and every training session both physically and mentally. We are very proud of our players, and our thriving pathway for Minis, Juniors, Girls and Colts is enabling many to be part of the Kent Saracens Developing Player Programme. As in previous full seasons we shall provide and be involved in festivals, tournaments, floodlit matches, tours, Saracens events as well as a full range of social events.
On that note, our first social event of the year is on 12 September, as we take part in the RFU’s Pitch Up For Rugby weekend.
It is gearing up to be a fun filled morning of rugby training followed by fun activities including bouncy castle, Mini post kicking challenge, 60m fastest player race, drop in Walking rugby sessions and of course some delicious hot food, sweet treats and refreshing drinks from our very own clubhouse bar so… add it to your diary, invite your kids friends along (Free OC’s ball to new joiners) & make a day of it.
And of course, a huge thank you to all those who have been able to financially contribute to our Club’s fundraising which helped our Club survive by replacing the income lost whilst activities have been restricted over the past 2 seasons. We now move forward with growth mode and under our newly appointed club Chairman Bill Blythe there are many exciting projects underway and in the pipeline to increase your enjoyment at the Club for many years to come e.g. look out for professional standard video of matches starting to filter down the age groups! Your continued help with fundraising will speed projects up so watch this space.
Click here for all the ways you can donate, support & fundraise.
Finally, we have 2 things that we hope you’ll consider when renewing your child’s membership, separate to fundraising for new projects –
Social members enjoy the benefits of The Colfeians Association which include access to the clubs facilities such as squash courts, reduced venue hire, 10% off Alcoholic drinks at the bar and entry in the International Tickets draw!
*** SPECIAL OFFER ***
Add Social Membership at the same time as Player membership in your GMS basket and instead of £10 p/month you pay just £7 …£36 DISCOUNT! Click here to login to your GMS profile
Join our 200 club and be in our monthly draw for 1st, 2nd and 3rd CASH prizes. You’ve got to be in it to win it!
If you are unable to purchase electronically then please do use the forms attached below instead.
Without these core funds the Club would not survive. The 200 Club in particular is used to help keep our subscriptions as low as possible (they are currently one of the lowest in the area). You can find both these on GMS for purchasing.
You will also find donation buttons which mean making either a one off donation or simply donating back the £20 sibling reduction is simple and easy and means it also qualifies for gift aid giving us an extra 25p for every £1 donated. Gift aid info can be found in the parent section https://www.ocrfc.co.uk/policies-documents/
We can’t wait to pass on our energy and enthusiasm to all of you, whether returning to the Club as an existing player, or starting with us on a new exciting journey. We wish you all a great season and look forward to seeing you at the Club.