Hi to all our Wanderers families.
You are certainly all on our minds today. The last few weeks have been very difficult for us all and that has been further complicated with no rugby, no training and no celebrating after another Wanderers victory!
We all agree though that the broader situation puts rugby matters into perspective. Your health and safety and that or our teams and community are the number one priority.
However, just because the rugby fields are empty and although the dressing rooms and bar have fallen quiet does not stop us continuing to be a club. I want to get the message out loud and clear that we can and should help each other where possible and also use the bonds of the club to stay in touch with each other. This is even more important since the address by our Taoiseach on Friday.
How can we help each other?
As previously advised our senior squad have offered to help with any shopping, collections or deliveries for members (Contact David O’Connor 086 3483392).
We can extend that to providing financial advice as required, using the same mobile number for the initial contact after which club members with the relevant experience would contact those in need.
I am delighted to let you know that our club physio Fionn Daly, our strength and fitness coach Luke O’Dea along with myself and David O’Connor have been working on a virtual Wanderers Fitness club. We will run weekly “fun fitness” competitions for members with prizes divided into 3 categories: Senior Men, Women’s and Minis & Youths. The final details will be circulated next week with the weekly competition starting on Monday 6th April and running until Sunday 3rd May 2020. If you’re not in, you cannot win !!
Further to these initial actions, we intend to look at a range of other ways we can stay together as a club, even while we are spread apart and these will be communicated in the coming weeks. Make sure to stay in touch with the club through the email, social media and our WhatsApp group.
What can we do as Wanderers for the community
We have offered St Vincent’s Hospital the opportunity to use our grounds as an emergency / temporary drive thru site for parking etc for their Doctors, Nurses and support staff. Obviously, their decision will depend on the status of the pandemic over the next few weeks. Depending on their decision we can also offer our neighbours the opportunity to use it for exercise subject to the current health protocols issued by the Government.
Update on Club redevelopment
In this weekend’s papers you may have read some very positive articles on the proposed club re-development project.
We are delighted to report that we submitted planning on the 13th February for our new clubhouse with Dublin City Council, in line with the schedule outlined at last years EGM. We received great support from our neighbours and local schools as well as the Down Syndrome Centre (DSC) special needs group. We supported DSC earlier this year and we have agreed to partner with them by supporting them via our internal and external facilities whenever possible. In our 150th anniversary year it has been agreed by our Executive committee that by supporting this charity, Wanderers would create a very special legacy.
We expect the planning decision by the 9th April 2020.
Separately, on the 10th March we lodged an application with the Revenue for their approval of our development project. This was successful and we have received a “Certificate of Approval” from the Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport. This allows us to qualify for tax relief on donations received in relation to our project. This is a very significant benefit for our club members and a further milestone in our development project.
We look forward to providing further updates on the progress on our re-development project over the coming months.
Once a Wanderer, always a Wanderer
As your club president during the 2019/2020 season I have to say how impressed I have been with the work that goes on within our club every day. Each week when I have called into the club to sign, collect, or toast a visiting club and their President and of course congratulate our great teams, I have been honoured to witness the commitment of our staff and volunteers. I have attended many matches, from the women’s first game v New Ross last September, to the firsts last game ,a resounding success v Greystones on their march towards promotion ! What an amazing display by the Chaps that day and that man Aaron O’Callaghan! How we miss our young boys and girls these Sunday mornings !
However, all those great moments are now put into perspective as we gather together as a community to face a different challenge.
I’ll always remember that spirit of unity and friendship that was so evident during our 150th Anniversary year and that has sustained our club since 1870. With that spirit we will overcome this terrible pandemic by observing our governments call to observe the necessary protocols yet continuing to come together and support each other.