Life Members, members, Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the 147th AGM.
It has now been two seasons that we have not played club rugby in the Western Province Super and under twenty leagues. All our structures were in place to have a cracker 2021 season after the disappointment of not playing during 2020. Hopefully this will all change next year. We have again appointed Clinton van Rensburg as our rugby co-ordinator and Phil Cronje as the first team coach. The rest of the management team will be appointed within the next couple of days.
Our Dynamiter 4th side managed to play in some friendlies during the latter part of the season. This section of the Club is very active, in fact very pro-active. A special word of thanks to Ryan Jones and his committee for running with the side.
We are participating in the WP 7’s tournament which kicks off on our field this Saturday. We which Robert Olivier and his players all the best for the tournament.
The highlight of the season was our junior section. Lisa Parrello proved that mums can multitask. Unfortunately, she has decided not to make her available for the senior committee. She will however still be involved in the junior section, for which we thank her.
We entered up to 14 sides from under 9 to under 13 on a Saturday, which is unbelievable. Adrian Kay must be mentioned. He has taken the juniors from a cc to a company, to quote a good friend of mine. Adrian, Lisa, Hugo, all the parents and players thank you very much for what you do and what you sacrifice for the Club. You make us extremely proud, not only on, but also off the field. Not to mention the financial contribution, which is very welcome. From next year the junior section will be more structured and streamlined to bring them in line with the rest of the Club.
The juniors have had a fantastic season, especially the under 13A side who was unbeaten this year. We have been approached by major rugby schools in Western Province and the Boland for fixtures. Hopefully we can build on what we have achieved over the past couple of years and to make Hammies juniors a force in schools rugby in the WP. Schools such as Rondebosch, Boyshaai and Paul Roos have already shown interest in pour players, which is a tremendous accolade for our players and coaches.
When things return to normal next year, we shall look at expanding our rugby section to include touch rugby.
Unfortunately, the Lions tour to SA did not happen as planned. The result was that our Club did not benefit as we hoped for. It does however seem that WP Rugby is moving to the stadium. We have already had informal talks with Province officials on possible synergies. The discussions are on hold as Province is, as you know, under administration.
After a long wait I am very proud to announce that we have accepted a quote to upgrade our flood lights. By early February the new lights should be operational. It was made possible by a very generous donation from Mr John Reynolds from California. Mr Reynolds was introduced to the Club by Ivor Dorrington, who played for Hammies and for Western Province during the fifties. We are very grateful for the donation received from Mr Reynolds.
The Club also welcomed new sponsors on board, Aramex Couriers, The Thorp Motor Group, Amabokoboko, Cape Bakkie Centre, Saggy Stone and FWRD Headwear and apparel. We are also very grateful for the sponsors received from Kepu, the Vasco Taverna and the Lotto Board.
We urge our members and the Hammies family to support these sponsors as far as possible. They are helping us to build a world class club, of which we can all be very proud of.
Our relationship with Saggy Stone has had its challenges over the past year. We are confident that we can improve by engaging with their management on a regular basis. Unfortunately, the Atlantic Athletics Club are no longer using our facilities and the agreement with the gym operators has also come to an end. This is mainly due to the effect that Covid 19 has had on all of us.
The Club House has been painted and the changing rooms have been renovated. We thank DEKRO Paints for their sponsorship in this regard. The field is looking better than ever. Our Club manager, Derrick Lichtenstein, has been responsible to oversee the renovations process and the maintenance of the field. He has done a sterling job on both accounts.
Ros Silke, who is managing our social media platforms, tells me that our Facebook page has reached over 38 000 people and over 9000 Instagram followers over the past 5 months. That is fantastic. The junior rugby matches were live streamed this year and over 1200 hits were received for some of the matches. This is an exciting area where we can focus on in future, especially for marketing purposes.
The 1875 Club is ticking over. We shall expand the membership next year. The funds are used for club house and field maintenance only. Due to these donations, we were able to attend to much needed improvements and maintenance.
For 2022 we are planning a few things, amongst others a national under 17 schools sevens tournament. We are also in talks with a third party to open a rugby academy at Hammies during 2023. Everyone that I have come across this year are very impressed with our facilities; we must utilise them as much as possible.
I thank the committee, Else and Derrick for being pro-active during the year. I would also like to thank Dave Kagan, Bryn Ressell and Marsh Shirtliff for their unwavering support. They remain the backbone and the moral compass of the Club. We wish them many years of good health.
Congratulations to the new members who have been elected to the committee. During the next twelve months we shall build on the foundations that was laid during the past two years.
I thank you