Looking Forward to the 2019 – 2020 Season

Published on July 9, 2019

Dear Valley Fort,

Before many of us head off for the summer, I wanted to send out an email to the club with some notices and some requests. Please take a few minutes to review it.

CHAIRMAN CHANGES

I have taken over as Chairman from Keir Macintosh after the end of his two-year tenure.

A huge thank you to Keir (and his family!) for his commitment to the club and for volunteering so much of his time. He has worked tirelessly on our behalves on a huge range of matters, and he can now look forward to just being a supporter (and coach) again.

For those of you that don’t know me, I’ve coached VF teams for past 9 years, am head coach of the 2018/19 U11s, and have been Vice Chairman for the past two years. It is genuinely a privilege to take over the running of this unique club from Keir.

VOLUNTEER SOS

Which brings me on neatly to the main topic of this email: Volunteers.

The success of the club is wholly dependent on volunteers and while coaches every Sunday are the visible part of this, there is a great amount more that needs to be done away from the pitch.

There is a huge pool of untapped talent within our community, and I would like to ask you to scan the roles below, and see if any of these interest you and match your skillset.

Many of these do not take up much time – they just need someone committed to give it their attention.  So, if you have a little time and some energy to spare, please reach out to me.

  • Food & beverage – are you involved with local restaurants or retailers? Could you help organise someone to sell snacks for Sunday mornings? Commitment: 3-4 hours/week
  • Website – we have a new website! https://valleyfort.com/ But while Jessie loads up all the content, it would be great to have someone with an eye for marketing to help advise/decide on the best photos and content. Commitment: 1-2 hours/week
  • Recruitment – can you help coordinate all our various recruitment efforts? You’ll notice the focus on recruitment this year, especially at the younger age groups where our numbers are down on previous years, and we need someone with good ideas on how to tap those opportunities. Commitment: 1-2 hours/week
  • Social media – can you regularly help promote the club via Facebook and Instagram? It would be great to have someone manage these accounts with photos from training, festivals, gatherings. Really important for recruitment. Commitment: 1-2 hours/week
  • Schools and Pre-schools – our relationship with certain schools is vital to the health of the club. We need to do more to build good relations with all the Southside kindergartens/pre-schools, plus FIS, HKIS, CIS, Kellett and all the other schools we draw from. Are you connected with any of these? Can you help promote the club to new joiners and other pupils?
  • Relocation agents – do you work for any of these companies? Can you help get a marketing flier to people landing in HK? What better way to help bed into HK life than through sport?
  • Marketing – if you’ve read the above and are wondering ‘these guys are all over the place with their messaging’ then we need your help to tell us how to market the club most effectively! We don’t have huge budgets, but we can do selective advertising, events and promotion to build awareness.
  • Festival – we need a Festival Coordinator for the Jan/Feb 2020 event. There is a template to follow (thank you, George von Burg!), but we need someone operationally strong to commit 1-2 hours per week from December onwards until the Festival.
  • Sevens tickets – we need an excel whizz to help gather and allocate the Sevens tickets next year. 4-5 hours for 2 days next year.
  • Social – building a sense of community as a club is going to be key this year, and I’d like to change how we socialise together. Rather than just big/expensive end-of-season events, I’m keen on smaller-scale gatherings on the Southside. Can you help us brainstorm and run these? Commitment 2-3 hours/month
  • Charities and collections – someone with a passion for charitable work, to help coordinate what we can do to help various organisations in HK and abroad as a club. Commitment 1-2 hours/month

CLUB STRUCTURE

Just a quick final note on Club Structure. We’re making a few changes to ensure the club is run more smoothly on and off the pitch.

  • Steve Glynn has stepped in to be Vice Chairman, alongside his role as Co-Head of U10s.
  • Allan Finnerty has become Treasurer, alongside his role as Head Coach of U11s.
  • Keir (after almost 5 minutes of retirement) will oversee the Colts division (that’s U13-U19).
  • I’m in the process of finalizing the Head Coaches for all the other age groups, and will update you as soon as it’s done.

I’ll just leave you with a quote from Pat Lam, the legendary coach of the Auckland Blues, Connacht and Bristol: “A successful Rugby club is about more than just the rugby – it’s about culture and community”.

Please help me to keep building those for Valley Fort.

Best,

Simon