From our Chair of Rugby, Paul Tucker

We are half way through the season and it’s Christmas; I love this time of year.

Rugby teaches us many lessons: friendship; trust; respect; teamwork; sportsmanship; discipline etc., but most of all it teaches us to enjoy life and should remind everyone to take joy in what we do. Whether it’s playing rugby, attending school, earning our wage or being with family and friends, take a moment to look around, realise how lucky we may be to have friends, health, employment, sport or just time!

Unfortunately, the perennial problem of match official abuse has come very much to the fore once again with the RFU and Essex County RFU taking significant punitive action against clubs, players and spectators who fail to adhere to the game’s core values and show the required level of respect both on and off the playing field. We have seen situations recently where players and spectators have received significant suspensions and clubs even deducted league points following incidents involving either physical or verbal abuse towards match officials and the rugby authorities have made it very clear that they have open-ended powers in this regard and will not refrain from using them! We are not immune!

The Club rightly prides itself on being highly competitive on the field whilst maintaining a warm welcome off it to all visitors whether they be players, referees or spectators etc., Let’s all work hard to ensure our standards are kept towards the continuing success of our Club.

It’s been a tough 12 months at times as we’ve lost several Harlow members; some old, some young but all sadly missed. We’ve celebrated success this year and we’ve suffered defeat. We’ve danced and we’ve sung, we’ve laughed and we’ve cried but, we’ve always been Harlow Rugby Club.

I’d like to say an especially warm thank you to our committee members, often unseen, unheard and often unrecognised outside of a Monday evening meeting, they are amazing individuals without whom the club would grind to a halt. Our rugby admins and coaches are quite visible and clearly heard! Whether you coach senior rugby, youth rugby, minis rugby or girls rugby – you are amazing. Your commitment and energy is brilliant and what makes our sport so special!

There’s a saying in rugby that “you’re a long time retired” – it’s true whatever we do, so let’s enjoy it while we do it

Finally to all of you; players, supporters, physios, caterers, bar staff, referees, facilities and ground managers, committees, mums, dads, fundraisers, sponsors and all those other staff and volunteers that makes Harlow Rugby Club, I wish each of you a very Merry Christmas and a happy, successful 2020.

Chair of Rugby

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