Burgess Hill Rugby Club – Summary of Parents Meeting 9th September 2018

Welcome to the new season. The purpose of this meeting (email for those unable to attend) is to update you on a few things you may or may not be familiar with at the Club. If you weren’t able to make the meeting, please do take 5-10 minutes to read through the following as it is all key information that you should be aware of.

  1. Key roles at Club & Communications

Most communications you will receive as parents will come directly from your team coaches / managers (via email, Whats App etc)

Youth Chair – Alan Thompson (youth@bhrfc.co.uk) – I will email for general youth section updates via the RFU GMS site / post on the club juniors & minis facebook page and post on the club website.

PLEASE NOTE – due the GMS system emailing 100+ people at a time, many mail servers will treat the incoming emails as Spam/Junk so please do keep an eye on your spam/junk folders and then mark emails as not spam and add the email address that they come from to your address book (this should then prevent them going to spam/junk in the future)

Other people you will hear from / or see around the club are Tom Grimes who coordinates club volunteers (volunteers@bhrfc.co.uk) – if you are happy for Tom to add you to his list of volunteers who can be approached at different times to help with the odd activity, please do email him.

Steve Blanthorn is the Welfare Officer and plays a really key role in making sure the welfare and safeguarding of your children is the top priority for all at the club. He is also a fount of all knowledge and I couldn’t do this job without his help! You will see him regularly at the club and he coordinates all memberships via the RFU as well as managing the Club’s junior FB page and the GMS. You will occasionally receive emails from him too.

  1. Kit Shop

Sarah Burlumi runs this and you will see her at the club most Sundays. She has a range of old club kit that is ideal if your child wants an extra training top at very low cost as well as access to new kit such as tops and club socks. She also runs a rugby boot ‘swap shop’. As your children grow out of their boots you can either donate them to the club to sell to others for a small profit for the club, or you can do a swap for a pair the next size up if available.

The main club online shop can be found here: (https://www.oneills.com/shop-by-team/rugby/rugby-union/burgess-hill-rfc.html)

  1. Club House upgrades

For those of have been at the Club for a while you will have seen a lot of the upgrade work that has taken place to improve the floor, the club house furniture etc. Please do remind your children not to wear boots in the club house (firstly as a safety issue, studded boots and smooth floor surfaces do not go well together and secondly to try and keep most of the dirt outside).

The club has invested in a new boiler system and showers over the summer so on those wet and cold days later in the year, your children no longer have to face the choice of either a cold shower or going home in your car filthy!

We do now have a new U12 and U13 girls team as well as a number of girls playing in the younger teams. One changing room will be kept for the girls’ use so please do let your children now there are changing rooms where they can go. They will be clearly signposted.


  1. Alternative Venues

As many of you will know, when we get an extended period of wet weather in the winter, it can make the pitches unplayable. We have a block booking at Burgess Hill Academy for the 3G pitch from the beginning of November.

The younger teams are likely to move there once the outside of the pitch areas get too wet / muddy to make training fun / safe. For the younger teams, your coaches/team managers will advise you as and when a move over to the 3G becomes the usual training venue for you. Hopefully, we will get a better autumn and winter this year and be able to stay at the club for longer.

The older age groups like to stay at the club all winter unless the pitches are deemed unplayable. This is either called by the council when they do a Friday pitch inspection, or by the club coaches on a Saturday.

If you know we have had a bad period of weather, PLEASE keep an eye on the website / email/ Facebook for short notice moves to the 3G. Your team coaches/managers are also likely to have WhatsApp/Message groups and should keep you informed too.

This can occasionally occur at very short notice if the weather has been particularly bad for away fixtures. It isn’t just a BH Club problem!

  1. Fixtures

Graham MacAlister does a wonderful job at coordinating fixtures for all teams in the junior section. The latest version of the fixtures are on the club website and will be emailed out this week. Do keep an eye out for changes – we are pretty much fixed but we do get invites to fixtures / tournaments through the season.

Your team coaches / managers are your main point of contact re fixtures for your own team – but it is good to look ahead and get key match day / festival dates in your diary. Especially if your child is in a team with lower numbers where coaches are relying on close to full attendance for fixtures.

  1. Running of the Club – More help required

We have mentioned several of the people involved in running this Club, there are many more behind the scenes managing websites, coach education and development, treasurers,  arranging sponsorship, manging the kitchen, etc. and they, like every one of the coaches and other club members we have introduced are volunteers. No-one is paid at the club and together with the fantastic work done by Tamara Larder and others in securing several sponsorship deals, play a huge part in helping to keep the fees at the club down to a level pretty much unprecedented in most other clubs that children are likely to be members of.

But, virtually all of these volunteers also have children playing rugby at the club and like you, do like to watch their children play too.

We have some key areas where we really need more help from you as parents:

  1. First Aid – We would like every team to have at least one qualified First Aider (other than the coach) who can be the first contact point in the event of an injury, rather than the coach having to come away from their role of coaching the team. I am very aware that current availability of First Aid kits is woefully short – as of yesterday, three brand new kits have been delivered. We would like to run a course here (two evenings in successive weeks). For each three people who do the course, the club gets a free First Aid Kit. The plan is to train at least 12 and get the additional 4 kits we need to therefore let every junior team have one first aid kit of their own to manage.

The club will pay for the course – so you just need to provide your time and be available at pitch side during the season for as many sessions as you can get along too.

If you are interested, please send me an email and I will advise of dates as soon as we have a course arranged.

  1. Kitchen (cooking) – the kitchen is a key part of the club – both in terms of being able to provide food and drink for parents and children of our club, to players from other teams when we host fixtures here, and it does provide a very good source of income for the club to help keep fees down.

We are looking for someone to come in and take on the role of paid cook for Saturday matches, Sunday mornings and potentially be available to support other club evening functions. If you know of anyone who might be interested in doing a few hours each weekend, please do ask them to contact me and I will pass their details onto Tamara/Simon.

Meantime, Tamara has been the main runner of the kitchen on a Sunday morning for as long as I have been at the Club, and with two boys out on the pitch, would love to get out and watch them more often. Until such times as we can get a paid resource, we do need some volunteers who could help with the cooking roles in the kitchen. If we do not get volunteers to help occasionally with the food, we will no longer be able to provide a food service on some Sundays.

iii. Kitchen (teas/coffees/serving/washing up) – no need for any ability to cook to help in this capacity. Just able to fill an urn/kettle, make tea/coffee, and/or take orders and money at the counter and help with tidying up at the end of a Sunday. We need two people to do the 10-11.30 slot each week and two people to do the 11.30-1 pm slot each week.

Rather than ask for volunteers to add their names to a rota, following discussions, we are going to allocate each slot to a team and then it is up to the parents of the children in that age group to organise the volunteers to cover that slot (if you want to have 4 people doing 45 minutes each that is entirely up to you). Given the younger ones generally don’t train for as long, we will allocate the earlier slots to the parents of the U6/7/8/9s and the later slots to parents of the U10/U11/U12/U13&14. Once we get the girls team up and running, we’ll add parents for that team into the mix too. I will coordinate with Tamara and then get a suggested rota out that coincides with fixtures. So please keep an eye out.

  1. Kitchen (match day food) – For those parents of players in the U12/U13 and U14 age groups, now that we host formal league fixtures, it is traditional in rugby to provide post-match food for both teams. Help is needed at every match to get tables set up, get jugs of water / squash out / help serve food and then help wash up afterwards. Until such times as we have a paid resource who can manage the kitchen food part, we do look for parents to take it in turns to prepare food for one home fixture a season – all costs are reimbursed. Again, I will coordinate with Tamara, but meantime, if you are happy to help with preparing food for one match this season, please do let me know.
  2. General coach support – please do take the opportunity to get pitch side with your kids, there are always little jobs that can be done to help coaches out, from helping get equipment out / put it away; helping get water bottles filled up, to holding equipment to help in drills. The coaches do appreciate any help you can provide and who knows, one day you may be interested in signing up to a rugby ready course and get involved in coaching yourself!


  1. Player recruitment – As the children get older then number of players per side increases to 12 a side at U12 and up to a full 15 a side by the age of U14. By this stage, coaches are looking for squad sizes of at least 20+ so it is vital that we attract and develop players in the years leading up to this point.

We look for everyone at the club, players, and parents to keep considering where additional players can be recruited.

If you know of any boys/girls who would be interested in playing – please ask them or get your children to do so; if you work at a school and are able to help promote and/or hand out leaflets, please do so!


  1. Burgess Hill Bonfire Parade

Final request – we would like to have a presence of boys and girls from the junior section alongside our senior teams at this event of the 29th September.

We need a volunteer who can liaise with parents, take along leaflets for distribution, etc. If you could let me know if you would like to help coordinate this with the senior teams, please let me know.


That’s it for now . Having just finished typing it, I realised there was a lot more to say than I realised! It was much quicker just saying it at the Club!