Following the club wide survey we undertook during October, we are now pleased to share the summary level responses.
With 325 responses, we believe this reflects a comprehensive set of views from across the club. Firstly, thank you for completing the questionnaire and the constructive nature of most comments. The survey was intended to inform decision making with regards to the future direction of the club and a plan on this is being worked on over the coming months. As you will see from the responses, there is a desire for significant change with, unsurprisingly, a clear focus on the rugby side (training and playing facilities in particular). The transformation needed is complex and expensive and the clubhouse will only form part of any future vision. Conversations are ongoing but slow in nature and so patience will be required across the club. Our next aim in this regard is to work up three options that we can present back to members following consultation with other key stakeholders (e.g. The Crown Estate, Council and other Home Park users).
In the meantime however, the survey also provided invaluable insight into the current views of members and supporters about issues that need to be resolved in a much shorter period of time. These were mostly included within the comments section. We have chosen not to share all 180 responses verbatim but will be grouping these into recommendations and distributing actions among various groups and individual volunteers. We have also tried to take immediate action in some areas to demonstrate that comments are actually being addressed. These actions are summarised below:
- Communication:Poor communication was cited in many comments and is something that we both recognise, and think we can do something about immediately. As a result, Mclaren Madamombe has been appointed as Head of Communications (in a voluntary, unpaid capacity), starting with immediate effect. He will be joining the GMC and is already starting to work on developing a comms plan to include the website (with Mark Hilleard), email and social media. Others have also offered help in this area for which we are extremely grateful and would like to take up those offers. Our intention is that Mclaren can start to coordinate this activity once he has got his feet under the table, always difficult with a full time day job.
- Governance: There was criticism within the survey responses for the committee, its approach and general capability. Part of this can be explained by poor communication and perhaps an unfairly negative perception of the substantial work that goes on behind the scenes. Work in this area is clearly required and we will be looking at roles and responsibilities in the coming weeks. We hope you will have already noticed some improvement in this area, particularly in relation to the rugby committee.
- Social Events: The social side of the rugby club was acknowledged as having declined over the past few seasons and we are keen to turn this around. That starts with an open invite to all members, friends and families to watch the Autumn internationals down at the club. We have put in some extra effort and budget to make Saturday November 10th an even bigger event by showing England vs New Zealand and Wales vs Australia before Chris Simmons play a gig at the clubhouse in the evening following his European tour. More details can be found on Facebook.
- Food: We have read the comments and hear the criticism of the food on offer at the clubhouse. We are evaluating options for a quick fix whereby we bring in an external supplier, but there is naturally some reluctance to waste the facilities we have and so would welcome any interested parties getting in contact with us to help improve our offer, especially on Sundays.
- Rugby: Coach recognition and development, integrating senior and youth rugby, more visibility for the female teams, player recruitment/retention and better supplementary training were all cited and acknowledged as needing work. When the comments are split, much of this will fall to the rugby committee who are already looking to make some changes in these areas.
We hope to see you at the club soon, supporting one of our teams on a Saturday or Sunday, as well as joining us on November 10th for our unofficial relaunch after the summer drought! Please also look out for invites to the 6 Nations Ticket draw on November 23rd, and the reconvened AGM (date TBC).
Windsor Rugby Club GMC