12:00PM, Friday 20 March 2020
Windsor RFC released a statement this week saying the club’s community spirit would be needed now more than ever, as the country looks to get to grips with coronavirus.
All rugby, whether that be at a professional or community level, was suspended this week until at least April 14 .Helen Crick, chair of the club, said ‘we now find ourselves in unprecedented times’ and is realistic in acknowledging this could well last much longer.
Windsor signed off for this period with a 36-31 win at Trowbridge, but could find their excellent efforts of the last few months undermined if the season is ended or declared null and void.
Speaking this week she said: “The social impact on us will never have been experienced before and it’s going to be vast and wide. We will of course be using social media to keep connected with you over the coming weeks. Our community spirit is second to none and we will need this to keep us upbeat when the novelty wears off.
“A dedicated email address will be set up for any questions, ideas for keeping us entertained and offers of support.
“One of the most disappointing aspects is that many of our Youth Tours are now at risk. I know the amount of planning and time that goes into organising these and I would like to thank everyone who has been involved and continues to manage these with an ever changing situation.”
The RFU said it hopes to lift the suspension by the middle of next month, but the situation is under continual review. Detailed updates on the impact on the various leagues will be provided in the coming weeks.
The suspension applies to all community and professional teams, including all of the Maidenhead teams, Marlow RFC, Slough RFC, Phoenix RFC and Drifters RFC.
Reacting to the news this week, Windsor head coach Jack Pattinson said that for the integrity of the game this season’s results have to stand.
“How can you declare the season null and void,” he said. “All that work and commitment. You couldn’t do that for the integrity of the game. If it happened it would have a seriously negative impact.
“We’ve never been in this situation before but I think you might just have to say, that’s the end of the season (if they can finish off their matches) and we’ll look ahead to preparing for next season.”
Pattinson is justifiably proud of the club’s achievements in South West 1 East this season.
They were without a point after seven matches but have taken some serious scalps in the past few weeks and months, moving 10 points clear of the bottom three in the process.
“I’m so proud of the players and the coaching team,” he said. “They helped me personally at the start of the season and deserve great credit. They pulled everyone together, changed a few things around and started to reap the rewards. It’s been an incredible journey. We’ll have to wait and see what happens but I’d like to think that if we can keep most of our senior players and make a few quality additions, we could push for the top six next season.
“But above all that I’d just like to say that I hope everyone is alright. That’s a far bigger priority than us playing games again.”
A murder investigation has been launched by Thames Valley Police’s Major Crime Unit following an incident in Bourne End.