08 May 2020 / Club News

Chairmen's Message

In these difficult times, Mel, as chairman of the social committee, and myself, as chairman of the rugby committee, felt that we should do our best to keep you appraised as to what is happening at Old Penarthians RFC.

Clearly, like everybody else, the club is in a lockdown situation and not available to any of our members. We are however carrying out structural and interior checks to ensure that the clubhouse itself is being well looked after and maintained during this period and will hopefully be ready for use as soon as we are authorised to reopen by the government.

So, what are we doing? 

  • Members of the social and rugby committee meet on a regular basis, using modern technology of course, to discuss the ongoing situation and to prepare for when the club reopens.
  • We are extremely mindful that we are a community-based club and at all times we will consider the interests of not only our members but of the community in which we live.  
  • ''Return to play'' planning. Through the two committees we will be working over the next few weeks to ensure we have a practical and appropriate tiered approach to the opening of the club and its’ facilities 


The Clubhouse: 

  • The stock is regularly checked and cleaned as are all the utensils and equipment.
  • As far as our stock is concerned our suppliers have indicated that they will replace all unused and out of date barrels but our Coors representative has said that the brewery trade have informed the government they would need 4/5 weeks’ notice to get supplies ready. The representative also mentioned that all beers that have passed sell by dates would need to be collected before any new beers could be delivered.
  • Prior to reopening we propose to conduct a full health and safety review to ensure the club is thoroughly cleaned and we have plenty of sanitising material available. In addition, we will explore the use of screens, reduced numbers in each bar area, card only payments and staff protection policies

The WRU: 

  • The WRU have been very proactive since the news of lockdown was announced. As a club we receive weekly updates concerning the WRU itself and the Welsh rugby scene in general. They have supplied many useful links and provided various information leaflets and webinar meetings with regards to what help or assistance there is available to clubs by way of governmental backed loans and grants
  • The WRU have provided each rugby club in Wales with a £1,000 grant to help with the costs arising out of the pandemic. We have also received our quarterly payment in full and on time. 
  • A group has already been formed by the WRU looking at various scenarios of what will happen when we are released from lockdown and how training and playing can resume and under what criteria, together with the practical elements of running the clubhouse and its facilities
  • They are however warning us that the future of rugby in Wales will not be the same in the future.


Rugby at Old Penarthians: 

  • OPRFC 1st's, 2nds & Vets - The committee propose that we continue with the same captains and first team manager as last season and propose to have conversations with all the players shortly with a view to target setting for the new season and planning the reintroduction of training ahead of the season start, whenever that may be.
  • Mini & Juniors - Despite the curtailed season, it has been another highly successful year with participation numbers going from strength to strength. Next season we will be running 12 age-groups from U6s to U17s. We are especially pleased to see a viable U17 team – first year Youth in effect – and an important step on the road to fielding a fully-fledged Youth XV once again. And we haven’t forgotten Presentation Day (scheduled 6th June). Despite the unlikelihood of the formal proceedings taking place we’re in the process of obtaining trophies so that the boys and girls don’t miss out. The age-groups may have to organise their own way of presenting the awards at a time and in a way to suit – maybe virtually. Further information will follow.
  • Women’s & Girls’ Rugby – The Old Pens Mariners Ladies should be in the middle of their first WRU league campaign by now and we are proud to have them as an ever more important addition to the Club. Anyone who has seen them play will know just how committed the players, coaching team and other supporters are and we are delighted to see the great progress already made, with more still to come. The Mariners girls’ team which seems to have been around for ever is also going well but we are working hard to attract even more girls and women to the game and to the Club.

Squash Section & Gym:

  • We are very keen to restore normal availability to the other facilities of the Club as soon as possible however a review of operating procedures will have to be considered prior to reopening.
  • The Squash section is continuing to grow and is having great success in their league programmes and we will be looking to improve the gym and equipment just as soon as we are able.

Finally, 🏉🏉🏉😁😁😁

We are a members’ club at the centre of a strong and resilient community. To that end, we would very much welcome members thoughts on a range of areas: 

  • Health & Safety/Risk Management
  • Communications planning
  • Facility Development
  • Sport Development
  • Customer Engagement
  • Other

We want to make sure that all our members and their guests are comfortable with the approach that we take and we want to be as transparent and proactive as we possibly can in providing a safe secure and enjoyable environment at Old Penarthians RFC. 

Please contact us at ( with your thoughts and feedback, and we will be happy to arrange a video call. 

Once lock-down is over, ''normal'' life will look very different. We guarantee that we will always follow Government health and safety guidelines to create as healthy and safe an environment as we can. We will also provide regular updates on our actions to give all of you the confidence to return to the club in the near future. 

With your support, this difficult time is the ideal opportunity for us to drive Old Penarthians RFC forward to a brighter future, with Community & Rugby at its’ heart

Will it be easy? No. Worth it? Absolutely!

Take care, stay safe and we look forward to welcoming you back to your club soon.


Stephen Clarke (Chairman – Old Penarthians RFC) & Mel Jones (Chairman – Old Penarthians Club)

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