I sincerely hope you are all keeping well and have come through the pandemic ready and able to enjoy some return to a more normal life over the coming weeks and months.
It has been a long and difficult four months for everyone since the end of 2020 and personally and from the Club I would like to thank you all for your continued support through that period and before.
We are only finally getting clearance to play rugby again! Currently 17yrs and under can play full contact rugby whilst 18yrs and over is still no contact. However we believe after the next proposed change from Level 3 to Level 2 on 17th May, barring any other changes, that 18yrs and over will be able to return to contact rugby and with the impressive vaccine rollout and continuing decline in infection rates it is currently anticipated that next rugby season in September may be able to begin ‘normally’ – lets hope so.
The lifting of other restrictions in terms of spectators, hospitality and use of facilities are not as clear yet but if the country moves to Level 0 at the end of June as currently anticipated restrictions should be lifted considerably.
We took a speculative decision earlier in the year to postpone our Maroon’d@Gala event from 17th April to 21st August and now believe that there is a real opportunity that this will be permitted, although it will likely be subject to a number of restrictions.
We are forging ahead with event planning and will keep you abreast of developments as we go forward.
Historically we have held an Extraordinary General Meeting every June to update Members on the year just completed and any changes to the club organisation. We are hopeful that we will be able to hold such a meeting , probably socially distanced with a restricted number, sometimes towards the end of June. Again we will keep you informed of our decision and advise you of any date when we are in a position to do so.
Your committee, volunteers, coaches and players have all continued to be involved with the club during the past few months and continue to make changes and improvements where we can.
The integration of the Wanderers, Red Triangle, Vixens and Mini Maroons under the umbrella of Gala Rugby has progressed very well with a lot of energy and enthusiasm from all.
One of the upsides of having all under one umbrella is that we have been able to embark on a wide ranging exercise to provide high quality kit with a consistent message across all teams. We are very excited by the progress we have made and will have newly designed playing, training and casual kit which will be rolled out across all teams for the new season.
This new kit will also be available in an online shop for purchase by members or the general public and we are sure that it will be very popular and a must have accessory if you support the Maroons – and even if you don’t!
Although there is no decision yet on league fixtures we are already planning events during the year and in particular we have a date set aside in early November to celebrate the 100th centenary of the Gala Red Triangle. Although this was actually last year we were unable to celebrate it but will do this November and we are hoping for a big interest from former players, members and sponsors to attend this event.
In addition we expect to be taking part in another Radio Borders Cash for Kids, Sporting Challenge in September/October. When we took part last year we were delighted with the level of response, even though we were unable to have any social interaction. It was a great exercise in bringing the whole club together and this year should be even better because we should be able to have some social interaction. This is a great local charity which helps handicapped and underpriviliged children in our area and also provides valuable income for the Club, so here’s hoping it all goes ahead and you can support our efforts as well – or better!- than last year.
You will have noted that our social media channels are more active and are currently part way through a series of interviews covering the #The MaroonJourney. It was given an overview by Richie Gray who has been through the whole journey from Minis to Gala Coach and has now gone full circle with his son attending the Mini Maroons! We have also heard from Lyeona Anderton one of our very enthustiastic and positive Minis coaches and in future there will be interviews with coaches or team managers of the Red Triangle, Wanderers, Vixens and Senior team.
We are also making some changes around the ground to ‘spruce’ it up with an improved perimeter barrier and demolition and removal of the old Club Shop and the 1875 cabin both of which were beyond refurbishment and repair. Our very own Mens Shed have been painting everything in sight so it will all have a fresher look when you finally get the opportunity to return to Netherdale.
We can’t wait for that to happen and are sure that you will have the same view.
PS You may have missed it on social media and our website last year but there is a very easy way you can support the club at no cost to yourself. Amazon have a site called smile.amazon which automatically allocates 0.5% of your purchases to your chosen charity, and since we are a charity that can be the club!
All you need to do is find smile.amazon, log in with your normal amazon credentials then choose Gala Rugby!
You get exactly the same deals on smile.amazon as the on amazon web site. It only takes a couple of minutes and since we all use online shopping now it would provide a great regular income for the club.