Weekly Update

BULLETIN 23 – OCTOBER 2014

As work on the facility nears completion, we need to keep up the efforts on our fund-raising. For news on all of this please read on.

Sportsman’s Dinner – Friday 21 November

The tickets are going and there are just about 100 sold now. We are not surprised. Last year’s event was a sell-out and it was a great evening. With speakers this year, such as Frank McAvennie and John Bacigalupo, at no increase in the ticket price from £25.00, we are not surprised. There are still tickets remaining but we think you should hurry. You can get them from Craig, Ken or from behind the bar. 

Friday 7 November – Club Night – See You There

In the last Bulletin we told you about the evening of Friday 7 November. We are sure that many people are itching to see inside your spanking new facility, especially now the gap in the wall has been closed up.

Come along to the Club House on that evening and have the chance to go round. We thought it would be easier to organise those interested into groups so we are planning that groups will go round at half-hourly intervals beginning at 6.30. We expect the last to be at 8.00 but, if there is considerable interest, we shall keep these going.

Make it a social evening. There will be nibbles and a finger buffet and the bar will be open. So, as well, as seeing the new training area, enjoy your Club House and look at how the refurbishment is progressing. There will be two raffles, one for adults and one for children, as at the St Andrews Day Coffee Morning plus, at 9.00, the quarterly and annual draws for the 100 Club.

Construction

We warned last week, that, as we are in the last weeks of the project, any hiccup now would result in a slight delay but we had our fingers crossed! They remain crossed and we are still looking at completion by the end of this month. We are being visited again by sportscotland in week commencing 20 October, as they are understandably keen to see how it is all looking.

External Fund-Raising 

We are waiting for news on a few grant applications – to Cash4Clubs, the Rotary and Round Table. We have also applied again for a West Lothian Council Sporting Grant but, as they suggested, not, this time, for gym equipment.

STOP PRESS

Talking of the gym, you will be glad to hear that the equipment for it has been ordered

Story of the Pigs 

The piggy banks have been one of the talking-points of our major effort to raise funds within the Club. Events like the Gala Dinner will live long in the memory but the pigs always raise a smile, from people outside the Club as well.

You might be interested to know that, excluding pigs from the bar and from “anonymous” plus a super-pig that came from the Wee Reds Café, since Andrew Begarnie handed in the very first pigs getting on for two years ago, 143 people (including groups of people) have handed in a total of 265 pigs.

Thanks to everyone who has done so. Two people have handed in eight pigs and one couple has handed in seven. There are 81 people who have handed in one pig and we are very grateful for this but, if all of those people could hand in another one, it would give our total a good nudge. See if you have a pig lying around that needs filled. Or, maybe, you forgot to pick an empty one up when you handed your last pig in. 

Let us keep this going. The new pigs total is £5,580. If you have not yet filled one, we would urge you to join in. If you have never seen one, go into the referee’s room in the Club House, to the right of the main door, and collect an empty one. Our original target was £8,000 for the pigs and we thought then we were being over-optimistic. It looks as if we could make it. Let’s do it! 

ONE LAST HEAVE!

I hope that everyone now knows our target for this season’s One Last Heave is £30,000 and we need to reduce this all the way down to £0.00. There has not been a great deal of activity since the last Bulletin but some more pigs and the Minis Tournament programme sales have nudged this season’s total up to £7,861. Our £30,000 target has now reduced to just above £22,100. We need to keep it moving down.

All-Club Event

For reasons of space we shall hold back, until the next Bulletin, information on the All-Club Event that the Fund-Raising Group is planning. We are hoping that it will be another event for us all to remember, just like the Gala Dinner was for those who could go. We have a date – put the morning/lunch time of Saturday 14 March 2015in your forward planner.

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For news of much fund-raising in November and of the All-Club Event – and the final stages of construction look out for Bulletin Twenty-Four

 

Update on What’s Happening Off-the-Field

There’s a lot being going on off-the-field at the rugby club and this note aims to update members on these developments.

New Indoor Training Facility

The new indoor training facility is nearing completion and still remains on track, both in terms of schedule and budget. It’s a massive step for the club and we plan to have the new facility in use in November and with an informal completion event for club members during November – more about this shortly. We plan to wait till the Spring to hold a formal opening event with recognition for our funders, sponsors and other helpers.

The new facility will have an IRB approved multi-sport 3G surface – it has a shock pad base with sand and rubber crumb in the carpet, allowing full contact work. The Playing Group has identified slots that it wishes to reserve and we will be making the facility available for hire, on a two monthly review basis and with a preference for block bookers. We will shortly be contacting those community sports and other organisations who have already expressed an interest, with a view to firming up on bookings for November and December.

The new facility will also house changing and showering facilities and a strength and conditioning suite. While our players will benefit from access to these facilities, we also plan to offer monthly gym membership to the wider community and to various local sports groups. The new facility will be capable of operating on a stand-alone basis from the main clubhouse, although are planning to extend the opening hours of our existing clubhouse now that we have a new Clubhouse and Bar Manager in place.

We are looking ahead to how the club will be run once the new facility opens. We are preparing an operational plan for the new facility and this will include a users’ guide. There will be new ways of working and we are trying to approach the task in looking at the whole Club. We need to think of the existing club house and the new training facility as one. By operating the new facility in a new way and that could open up the possibility of the club house being available for greater use. Inevitably, of course, this thinking includes the booking policy and charging fees.

Welcome to Gary McGill

GaryLast week Gary McGill started in the role of Linlithgow RFC’s Clubhouse and Bar Manager, just ahead of the opening of the new indoor training facility. Gary comes to us with experience in bar and event management – some of you will know him from his time as Assistant Manager at the Four Marys.
With Gary in place, we will be looking to utilise the clubhouse more effectively and Gary will play a key role in organising events and functions to bring members and their guests into the clubhouse on a more regular basis. Gary will be publicising events, what’s on in the club, TV sports etc on the club’s website and Facebook sites, so look out for more information.

We are deeply indebted to Dave Thomas who will now step back from his day-to-day club support role – he has put in a power of work behind the scenes on a daily basis for over 10 years and kindly extended his support to help us over the summer until we were in a position to recruit Gary. Thanks are also due to Cal Thomson and Callum McKeown who helped provide cover for the bar over the summer.

A few weeks ago we brought in Jen Elder on an interim basis as club cleaner. Jen provides a twice weekly clubhouse clean on Thursday and Sunday afternoons. This will take us through to the opening of the new indoor training centre when the job specification will be uprated.

Clubhouse Opening Hours

Starting this week (Monday 29 September) the core opening hours of the clubhouse and bar will be:

WEDNESDAY NIGHTS 6-15pm to 8-30pm
THURSDAY NIGHTS 6-30pm to 11pm
SATURDAY AFTERNOONS 1-30pm* to 7pm
SUNDAY AFTERNOONS 3pm** to 7pm

* earlier for home 1st XV matches with sponsored lunch

** earlier for home u16 matches and the Mini Tournament (05 October)

In addition, the choir will open the bar on MONDAY NIGHTS.

The club will also be open on FRIDAY NIGHTS – if there’s no function, then we will arrange a club night, possibly based around live rugby on Sky TV. We will post information on Friday night events on the club website and Facebook pages.

Work to Upgrade the Existing Clubhouse

We have not just been focusing on the new indoor training facility, as members will have seen if they’ve been around the club recently. The Fabric Group, led by John Smith and with Gordon Jesty and Jim Mochrie to the fore and aided by several others (for whose help we are very grateful), have carried out extensive work in and around the entrance foyer and the club lounge. The foyer has been opened up with the removal of the internal doors and the old lucozade machine and the pipework, both in the foyer and lounge, has been neatly boxed up. In addition, the lounge ceiling has been painted and next week the north end of the lounge will get an uplift with plaster-boarding of the walls either side of the kitchen door. Investigations are also in hand to give the bar area a facelift and to look at options for lounge flooring.

Fundraising

Over the last 18 months we have been tremendously successful with our fundraising efforts, bringing in around £60,000 to date. The Fundraising Group has targeted “One Last Heave” in our 2020 Vision fundraising efforts, to close the final gap of £30,000 by the end of the season. There will be more on this in our next 2020 Bulletin, but let me point out four major events we need to push in the coming months:

Halloween Party – Saturday 25 October – tickets £5 from behind the bar.
Fireworks Night – Saturday 01 November – tickets are on sale now week from the club bar and from Far from the Madding Crowd, The News Shop, Norman Cummings and Spar Linlithgow Bridge. Take advantage of the ‘early bird’ offer at £10 family, £4 individual for tickets bought in advance. Price on day will be £15 family, £5 individual.
Sportsman’s Dinner – Friday 21 November – this event will be in the Clubhouse and guest speakers are football legend Frank McAvennie and rugby referee Johnny Bacigalupo. Tickets £25 from behind the bar – see if you can organise a table of guests.
LRFC Golf Day at Kingsfield – Friday 01 May – contact Mark Wells or Nick Chadwick for more information. Formal launch will be at Sportsman’s Dinner.

Conclusion

We are well on our way to achieving the over-riding objective of 2020 project – the development and refreshing of the club’s facilities as we approach our 50th Anniversary in 2020. The next phase is to make sure that we fully utilise our facilities as a part of our drive to be a self-sustaining community rugby club.

If you haven’t been down to the club recently, come on down and see the changes for yourself – it would be great to see you!

Ken Richardson

SPORTSMAN’S DINNER – FRIDAY 21 NOVEMBER

One of our Fund-Raising Friday events is the return of our Sportsman’s Dinner which was a great success last year. It will take place in the Club House and is on a slightly smaller scale than our fantastic Gala Dinner at Murrayfield. No black tie! Nevertheless, we shall manage one or two activities to raise funds for our development.

FrankAnd what we shall also do is have an entertaining evening. In the last few years at our dinners we have had some excellent speakers but, this November, at the Sportsman’s Dinner, we are going to hear from Frank McAvennie and John Bacigalupo.  I think we are in for a treat. Tickets for last year’s Dinner went very quickly and, when you consider the high calibre of this year’s speakers, we expect them to go even more quickly.

So, book your tickets soon. They cost £25.00 and you can get them from Craig, Ken or behind the bar.

Hurry while stocks last!