Despite recent setbacks as a result of many factors related to the Covid pandemic which resulted in Haywards Heath RFC taking the difficult decision to step down from competing in London 1 South, the Club is looking forward to the new season with a positive outlook, encouraged by a strong turnout of senior players and supporters for a recent local derby encounter against Hove RFC at Whitemans Green. It was fantastic for the senior squad to be back playing competitive rugby for the first time since March 2020 and both sides were able to compete fiercely while also enjoying the experience - with lots of partisan vocal support for both sides! More pre-season fixtures are planned with an away fixture against Eastbourne 2s on Saturday 11 September.
Members of the HHRFC Board met last week with representatives from the Sussex RFU to discuss the reasons behind the recent challenging situation facing the Club. Clearly the decision to withdraw from London 1 was not taken lightly, but following discussions with London Division and SRFU the Club is now looking to move forward in Sussex 2 and other cup competitions next season. The Club passed on its thanks to Sussex RFU for providing invaluable financial support during the Covid pandemic and the assistance they have received in their bid to secure a £150k loan from the RFU. After a positive meeting it was agreed that ongoing dialogue between both parties would assist Heath to make the most of the coming season on the pitch and move forward with its plans for a new clubhouse.
The experienced Heath senior coaching team of Martin Mactaggart, Jim Taylor and Jack Emmerson continues to be committed to making sure the senior squad train hard yet enjoy their rugby experiences, on and off the pitch. New players regardless of age and rugby ability are welcome to join the squad at any time and training continues every Tuesday and Thursday evening.
Committed to improving the off-pitch experience for all Club members, the team behind the Clubhouse Project at Heath recently met with Mims Davies MP, the Club's President, and Cllr Jonathan Ash-Edwards, Chairman of MSDC, to discuss how best the Club can regain momentum behind this essential project to build a new multi-sports pavilion - particularly given the £800,000 the Club has already raised internally - and find a way to start building at Whitemans Green as soon as possible. A plan of action was agreed to try to make this vision a reality.
The new youth season for all age groups from under 6 to under 16 and Colts started on Sunday 5 September - all existing and new players welcome.
In addition the Club introduced girl's rugby at Heath with a girls summer rugby camp where participants were able to find out more about rugby as a girl's sport and learn new skills while having fun making new friends in advance of rugby for girls aged 11 to 13 becoming a permanent fixture at Heath this coming season - sessions at Whitemans Green start at 12noon every Sunday - all new players welcome.