James McGeough, Chair at Cheltenham Civil Service RFC

CCSRFC Update Christmas 2022 

It’s pretty safe to say it’s been a pretty turbulent first half of the season, with further changes coming in the new year (and that’s not even Eddie Jones or Wayne Pivac!). I’d like to thank all those who’ve reached out to provide some support, including I’m pleased to say a number of other local clubs. Sadly support from the RFU and GRFU remains pretty much non-existent, so it’ll be up to us to ensure our clubs future. More on this later. 

As many of you will know by now, unavailability, injuries and retirements have taken more of a toll on our men’s team than anticipated, which meant that weas were unable to field a team for a number of games in a row. This resulted in us deciding to withdraw the men’s team from the league structure for this season. 

We are hoping to play at least a game per month for the rest of the season, whilst looking to get players regular games alongside other teams to enable regular rugby. I’m hoping I’ll have something concrete to say on this before we resume after the Christmas break. 

We have played the first of these monthly games against a Forces Barbarians team for Remembrance Weekend. It was a keenly contested game which resulted in a win for Service and a busy clubhouse, which was great to see. We are hoping that this might become an annual fixture going forward. 

In contrast to the men’s side, the Ladies team have continued with the league program, although results haven’t gone our way so far. Availability has also been somewhat of a challenge, but proactive working with other clubs makes a big difference to ensure games are played, a lesson that mens rugby will need to learn going forward. The ladies also would value more support on the sidelines for games, and I would encourage you to wander down and give them a watch on a Sunday afternoon. 

Sadly, Cameron Janes has decided that he will be unable to continue coaching the Ladies team after Christmas. I’d like to thank Cam for all his efforts in the past few months in supporting the Ladies team alongside his studies and coaching the Sharks U15s. I’m pleased to say that Cam will be continuing with his role with the U15s, who he’s been working with for the past 5 and a half years. 

The Sharks continue to develop and grow, with the club maintaining good numbers of players each week. We are playing regular games against local opposition and have had some great results already this season. Not only can we celebrate the results themselves, the attitude of the players and coaches has also been a great credit to themselves and the club more generally. 

Whilst this represents some great news for Service, this is tempered by the loss of Lee Janes from leadership of the Sharks. I cannot state enough how important Lee has been to the Sharks, from their inception over five years ago to everything they’ve achieved since. Lee’s influence and energy will be much missed and on behalf of everyone at Service I’d like to thank him for all his efforts. I’m pleased that he won’t be completely leaving us as he will continue to help out with the U15s. 

I’d also like to thank all of those that have stepped forward to take on various roles to help keep the Sharks moving forward. I look forward to working with Adriaan and the rest of the team in future. 

Walking rugby continues to be a great addition to the clubs rugby offering, with decent numbers turning out each week. We continue to cater for all ages and personally I find it a very enjoyable hour each week. If you are interested in taking part, please let us know. It’s every Tuesday at 7pm, cost £2.

Off the field, we are hoping to work with CACSSA over the next few months to see how we can use a recently launched RFU scheme to improve our changing facilities for our female players, both junior and senior. I hope to be able to share more about this in the future. 

I’d like to thank all those who turned out for our VPs event recently, especially Weggers and Billy Bryans. It was a great turn out and it was good to catch up with a number of you over a beer and a nibble, plus also raising some funds for a good cause. 

Finally, I’d like to repeat my thanks to all those who have expressed their support over the past couple of months. There’s been a lot going on and this support has at least kept spirits up. If you might be able to spare some time to support the club in any way, please get in touch – chair@cacssa.co.uk for via IM – I’d be delighted to talk to you. It’s up to us as those who play  or support the club, to ensure it’s here for the future. 

May I wish you all a merry Christmas and a safe, healthy and prosperous new year. 

Cheltenham Civil Service RFC