Membership Update – Covid19 Season Suspension/Spring Update

Dear Bayside Rugby Family,

On behalf of the Bayside Rugby Club, we want to wish all of our members and their families health and happiness as we go through these challenging times. If there are no other positives, hopefully you at least get some extra time to stay home with your immediate family and appreciate those closest to you. In these uncertain times, we thought it important to reach out and provide clarity to our members on all things Bayside and how we are moving forward. 

Covid-19 Response:

As the seriousness of the Covid-19 pandemic became very clear very quickly, we decided to suspend all rugby activities on March 12. The league and national union soon officially did the same, suspending, then eventually cancelling the season, and all rugby indefinitely. This was devastating for all of our players and volunteers who put endless hours into having a successful season play out. Senior players were a few games away from the playoffs, and our Minis were just getting into the swing of the jamboree portion of their season. 

Unfortunately this appears to be our new normal with no clear end in sight. The most recent messaging from Rugby Canada is that the indefinite suspension will be reviewed no later than June 30. Until a revision to this position has been published, no rugby will be played at Bayside. No practices, informal touch games, or anything of the sort. We are all champing at the bit to return, but in the grand scheme of things, our inability to play must take a backseat to the needs of our healthcare workers and our vulnerable. Please ensure your friends, club-mates and kids understand that while a game of touch with your friends may seem innocent, at this point it’s irresponsible. We encourage everyone to stay in shape and we will continue to post multiple workouts per week through some of the amazing trainers affiliated with our club. Personally, they’ve been the one thing keeping me from becoming one with my couch. We are still planning as if we will be able to run our Summer 7s and PNW Old Boys touch tournament with the SOBs, both scheduled for August. There is just no way of knowing at this point whether that is a realistic possibility, but we continue to plan for these events in case they can be held. 

In these tough times, we must remember that we have an extremely strong community unit. Never hesitate to reach out if you or someone you know is having a tough time, and hopefully we can make the right connection. Look for the Bayside Community Assistance Facebook page if you are interested in helping, or know someone who might need a hand getting groceries, running errands, or anything else in these difficult times. We have been amassing a list of local businesses open and needing your support to publish on our social channels in the coming days. Please reach out if you would like to be included. Our local businesses are our sponsors and our members. They support us when things are good, so we need to support them now when things aren’t. 

Credits/Refunds:

We understand that for a lot of people, their rugby dues are one of their larger purchases for the year. We strive to keep dues as low as possible and offer maximum value. For the majority of members, their season was cut short. We have taken a hard look and are simply unable to return this money. Much of our fundraising efforts over the past year have been refocused towards the field house, and we are operating at tighter margins as a result. As much of our costs are fixed and front-loaded, and our typical fundraising parties and pub nights also have to be cancelled, we can’t make the numbers work and return the Bayside portion of your rugby dues. 

For those who signed up for the Spring season and only received a few weeks of play, we will be crediting $50 off of next year’s dues. If you are in a position of hardship, please reach out to us about refunding this amount and connecting you with community resources by sending me an email to president@baysiderfc.com. We wish we could offer better, but this is our current financial reality.

BC Rugby will be offering partial refunds for their portion of the dues to those who registered for Mini Rugby. If you have not been contacted directly, you can contact Marga Sison at msison@bcrugby.com or phone 604-737-3065. They have confirmed that no Sr players who have played any rugby will be awarded a refund.

Rugby Canada has confirmed that their portion of the dues will only be refunded to members in cases where no Rugby was played, including practices or games. This likely does not apply to anyone, but if it does, you can apply through www.Sportlomo.com via your membership profile.

Field House Development: 

Construction continues on the base build of our clubhouse project, with the construction of the deck addition beginning next week. This is one of the final critical path elements that once completed will allow crews to complete the siding, windows, and finish the base build of the project. This will allow the washrooms and changerooms to open below. 

The hard work is just beginning for the Club, as the next phase is our Tenant Improvement on the upper floor for our club multi-purpose space. We are within weeks of receiving our Building Permit for these works, and at that point we will be able to begin upgrades to the inside. Next week, we will be sending out a more detailed history of the project, the steps left to complete, and details of our financial situation. We still have a lot of work to do financially to be able to afford to build our new home properly. We understand that this is not the easiest time to raise funds as many feel the economic impact of the Covid shutdown, but we have to forge ahead so that we can finish this project and realize the dream and efforts of generations of Bayside Sharks.

Bayside AGM:

This is typically the time of year that we announce a date for our AGM sometime in May. We are reviewing different ways to hold our Annual General Meeting under the current circumstances. Likely, we will need to hold this online and devise a system of remotely voting for open positions. Once this has been confirmed, we will provide 1 months notice to all as to the timing and venue, virtual or otherwise. 

Thank you all for your understanding and for your continued devotion to the Bayside Rugby Club. We are determined to adapt to whatever the coming months bring, and continue building this club into one of the top rugby clubs in the Lower Mainland. 

Stay safe, stay home, and stay HUNGRY for the return of Rugby!

Sincerely, 

Kevin Whitmarsh

President, Bayside RFC

president@baysiderfc.com