Life Members, members, Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the 148th AGM.
Let me start by congratulating our U20 side who won the WP SLA U20 league. It is a remarkable achievement and the first time that our Club has won the league. Congratulations to Andries Carstens, Pieter Le Grange, Charl Greeff, the support staff, and especially the players and their parents. Andries and his team have brought a new dimension to the Club, and we are fortunate to have them back in 2023.
Our first side ended 6th on the log and had strong outings against Maties and UCT. We parted ways with our head coach before the season started and Robert Olivier, Greg van Jaarsveld and Reagan Anderson did a great job of building a young side into a formidable team. We shall build on those foundations in 2023.
The second, third and Dynamiter sides had relatively good seasons, bearing in mind that we have not played rugby due to covert the previous years.
We hosted the Stadio Champion of Champions U20 tournament this year. It was a great event to host clubs who play in the lower leagues. Thank you to Chris Vorster and Wynand De Villiers from Stadio for making it possible. This will become an annual fixture.
We finished third or fourth in the WP Sevens tournament this year. Well done to all involved. Unfortunately, we could not capitalise on the World Cup sevens with our own U17 tournament. It is challenging to break into the school’s sevens fraternity.
We have started building towards our 150-year celebrations to be held in 2025.
The key will be to keep and develop the players that we have, to introduce the young players into the senior sides and where necessary find a couple of key players in certain positions.
The coaching staff for next year has been identified with Robert Olivier as head coach. The other appointments will be made shortly and then the preparations will start in all earnest for next season.
We are on track to go to the Amateur Club World Cup in France next year. We are talking to several sponsors to assist our team to travel to France and make it an unforgettable experience.
Our junior section played no less than 231 matches this season, with over 250 boys representing the Club. We are very proud of this section which is growing every year. Lisa Parrello, Adrian Kay, and all involved thank you very much. We shall try and involve more parents next year in the administration and other areas. We are looking at expanding the age group to include U14’s from next year.
We have had no less than 17 players representing Western Province in the age groups and other Provinces over the past year. This must be a record for the Club. Well done to all these players, you make us very proud.
We are in the process of starting with ladies rugby next year, from school level to seniors. This is very exciting for Hamilton. The buzz word in Word Rugby is ‘ladies’ rugby’ and we will be part of it and become leaders in the next couple of years.
The programmes we are looking at have been used successfully over the world and start with basics to semi-contact to full contact after a couple of months. We are going to do this, as we try and do everything, the right way from the start. There will be challenges like changing rooms, coaches, and other unknowns, but we are up for it.
On the Club administration side, we are doing well. The sponsorships and Club 1875 have helped tremendously. The field is looking excellent, the new lights are working at a very reasonable cost, I might add. Thank you once more John Reynolds for your support therewith.
The committee has decided to increase the membership fees to R800 for members and R600 for country members. This is the first increase in several years.
We have just over a year remaining on the Saggy lease.
The Bourn. gym is up and running and we have dance classes on various weekday evenings. This is extra income for the Club, which we desperately need.
We had a successful golf day. Thank you to Hugo Venter for making it possible and to all who participated.
Ros Silke manages our social media platforms. They are ideal to showcase our Club and its achievements and to promote our sponsors. We are very active on social media with our Facebook and Instagram reaching over 170 000 and 140 000 viewers respectively over the last year. This is almost double on the previous year and an area where we must further improve and give our club and sponsors more mileage.
Thank you to our sponsors the Vasco Tavern, Aramex Couriers, Saggy Stone, Amabokoboko, Strassbergers, Kepu, Fwrd Headwear and Apparel, Dekro Paints and Thorp Motor Group. We hope to renew these sponsorships and to secure more sponsors, especially for our junior division.
I thank the committee, Els Moore and Derrick Lichtenstein, for helping wherever they can during the year. I would also like to thank Dave Kagan, Bryn Ressell and Marsh Shirtliff for their unwavering support, as over the past two decades they remain the backbone and the moral compass of the Club. We wish them many years of good health.
Congratulations to the members who have been elected to the committee. We look forward to a fantastic 2023.
I thank you
Hamilton SP RFC Chairman