Newark Rugby Union Football Club have postponed the proposed launching of their Academy this summer due to the impact that coronavirus and the recent lockdown has had on the sides plans for next season.
You Can Do Sport, who are working with Newark to launch a brand new Academy team have stated “It is with regret that we have to announce our partnership with Newark Rugby Club to form the Newark Rugby Academy has to be postponed until 2021.”
“Unfortunately the circumstances surrounding rugby and Covid19 have made it impossible for us to pursue our plans for the time being. Our primary focus has to be student and staff safety and we must follow Government and RFU guidelines in order to act responsibly.”
“We will endeavour to launch the program next year, and will keep you informed of our progress over the coming months.”
Newark themselves are like many clubs in a similar position, having to go through drastic changes in order to keep afloat with clubhouse utilities reduced to a minimum until further notice, the club have applied for all necessary government grants and have furloughed staff where necessary.
On a positive note the club have used lockdown to decorate and repair facilities and have in place a comprehensive risk assessment and are seeking RFU advice as to when mini and youth training can start.
The club however realise the importance of getting back on track after a turbulent year that initially hit them hard through the flooding over the winter before the seasons premature end in March. Newark’s Chairman Andrew Fearn who’s concerned about the financial impact said “Our most pressing issue has been the financial state of the club. Last season (which finished early in March) we lost all of our fundraising events through a combination of bad weather and Covid, leaving us some £50,000 adrift from our budget.”
“Returning the bar and clubhouse facilities from lockdown will prove to be problematic. Obviously we want to welcome all members back as soon as possible and risk assessments are in the course of preparation. However, there is a very difficult financial balance.”
“The cost of opening the bar and facilities is considerable including furlough issues, utilities, re-stocking and (especially) hygiene and cleaning to a new enhanced standard.”
“At a time when money is extremely short, it is a high hurdle to jump. I just wish to reassure you all that this will be kept under constant review and we will re-open as soon as it is economically feasible to do so.”
Newark’s Senior team will participate in the Midland League next season with the RFU already outlining plans of splitting the division into two groups to ease fixture congestion. Group 1 which includes Newark will also involve Ilkeston, Lincoln, Long Eaton, Market Rasen and Southwell whilst Group 2 features teams from Derbyshire and Leicestershire with Ashbourne, Ashby, Coalville, Loughborough, Matlock and Melbourne making up the numbers.
*Main image @newarkrufc the Senior side have been back in training since Tuesday.