PONTYPRIDD R.F.C. OFFICIAL SUPPORTERS CLUB END OF YEAR REPORT
NEWSLETTER NO 2. SUMMER 2005.
I sit down to write the annual report some days away from a trip I have longed to make all my rugby following life. I am going to New Zealand to see a three test match series. The trip would be much more enjoyable if – one – it were Wales (I would travel with more confidence actually if it were, now that’s a turn up) and – two – if more Ponty past players were in the squad! Still we have 3 and who knows we may yet have more if Woodenhead sees sense.
Anyway, my job is to report to you the work done on behalf of you the supporters and the club team this 2004/5 season. A bit of a curate’s egg of a season on the playing side with some high spots and as many lows.
First of all, the supporters club kept its pledges to keep you all informed with articles in the match day programmes, the weekly GTFM Friday lunchtime Ponty corner, and in meetings called for specific purposes. The Supporters Club also kept their pledge not to get involved in the politics of rugby in the press and media. That role falls to others to present to the public, you need not doubt that the views of the Supporters Committee were made known in the right circles.
Both supporters Club members of the Board were present at all but a handful of meetings of the Board. It would be fitting to record in this report the delight of the Committee when one of our members, Stephen Reardon was elected to the post of Chief Executive of the Club. It would be remiss of the Committee not to also place on record out gratitude and thanks to Cenydd Thomas, a Ponty fanatic, who has given years of dedicated service to our Club. Thanks Cenydd for all you have done for Ponty!
The year started off with an evening disco/cabaret and buffet in the Clubhouse, one of three in the year, the most successful being a Halloween night. All three events made small profits for the Supporters Club, which was just as well as later entries will prove.
The Supporters Club Committee decided to run a grand Christmas Raffle with major prizes. This initiative cut down on the match day raffles to allow us to sell the Christmas raffle. The “try out” proved a success with the prizes attracting a large sale of tickets. Again this event made the Supporters Club Committee an overall profit. If you remember, the prize tickets were drawn in the Grandstand Lounge just prior to Christmas, the reason for this was the Clubhouse was electrically unsafe. Without the money gathered in the raffle and elsewhere, the Supporters Club would have been unable to give £2,000 (a very substantial portion of the repair bill) to the Rugby Club to ensure we could have our Clubhouse repaired.
The Supporters Club was asked to organise the buses to the Cup Final in Cardiff. This we did willingly and five double-deckers took our support down to the match. It was a sad trek back, a match we should have won, but non-the less the Supporters of Ponty were provided with a service which they have come to expect. Buses were also provided for big distance games – e.g. Carmarthen and Whitland and a mini bus was provided for all but a few local games in the season. Thanks must be extended to Phil Lycett for all the work he puts in, in this respect.
The International season was one of huge success for Wales and the Ponty boys who represented their country. We at Ponty made sure that the match day hospitality of the bar and our big screens (we bought a second large back projection television, and a new TV for the snug bar, by the way) was up to its usual standard. The large back projection TV we bought when we were unsure as to the position of the Clubhouse prior to its repair. We wanted to ensure that there was a rallying point for Ponty/Wales supporters on match days. In the end we had double the TV Screens which was fortunate as the club was packed for the New Zealand game when BBC News 24 were present! The new large screen TV has been a useful asset to the main clubhouse bar and everyone appears to enjoy the improved atmosphere it has generated.
International match days have always had Supporters Club members supplying food to those who stay rather longer than their spouses would like! This service was repeated this year with themed food for the games, pasta for Italy etc. Not sure when Wales will play India but I still like my curry! To comply with the laws on the provision of food to our members, the Supporters Club organised and paid for a food safety course at the club. This ensured that some of our Committee members and members of the Junior and Mini Rugby section became qualified to the appropriate standards (copies of their certificates are on view by the kitchen). Without these volunteers we would be unable to provide you with match day meals. Thanks to Carol Waughinton and Phil Wyson who helped organise this course.
The last section of this report is to inform you of the “little” things that the Supporters Club and others have done throughout the season. People turn up at matches and do not realize the amount of work done to present the stadium in an acceptable manner. The “Sunday Crew” and “Week day Crew” have painted the stand steps (an annual chore), painted in the clubhouse and grandstand areas, mopped up after floods (if we had not been there mid week painting the steps a great deal more damage would have been done.), picked up litter in the stands and on the terraces (why don’t you all take your litter away with you!) Phil Lycett’s pre, during and post match music, ticket checkers on the stand steps, and cleared out the back office ready for redecoration after smoke damage following an electrical fire.
Well, there we are, another season gone, another to look forward to. The Supporters Club Committee will hold the A.G.M. in July (when the Lions trip is over) followed by a BBQ. Again membership will be free to those of you who return the form with the Season Ticket application. It has been a year with less politics – compared to the troubles of the 2003/4 season. The Club has survived more worries and problems with the help of the Supporters. This Club of ours is something precious to all, something that cannot be allowed to whither and fade. We will do all we can to ensure that this will not happen.
In conclusion I would like to thank all Committee members and other helpers who have done so much to ensure that the name of Pontypridd R.F.C. remains at the forefront of Welsh rugby and further afield. Long may that continue.
Alun Jones – Secretary Supporters Club.
COME ON THE PONT!
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