Tuesday 22nd December 2020
First of all, I would like to wish you and your families a Merry Christmas. 2020 has been an incredibly difficult year and I hope that the holiday period offers you all some much needed respite and festive joy. Please do ensure that you all continue to remain safe and conform to government guidelines over the festive season. For those that have lost a family member or friend this year, whether it be as a consequence of Covid or for other reasons, the club's thoughts are with you.
Regarding our club, this year has presented unprecedented challenges that no one could have predicted. The two lockdowns have forced football activities to be suspended for long periods and having to deal with measures aimed at slowing the spread of the virus has created a vast amount of additional work for our volunteers.
But I would like to commend everybody for the way in which they have dealt with the extraordinary circumstances, while throughout helping retain the integrity and identity of the club.
The continued support from members, even while football activities were not possible, has been invaluable – and we are deeply grateful for you sticking by us at a time when many will be struggling financially. Likewise, sincere thanks go to our sponsors for the ongoing support they have continued to provide.
Our volunteers and those working for the Sports Association are owed a huge debt of gratitude too. Whether it be Committee members putting in the hours to translate government and FA guidance into club policy, individuals contributing their time and labour to make necessary adjustments to our facility, or coaches, bar staff and other helpers delivering football and related activities in a Covid secure manner, all are deserving of significant praise and thanks.
On the field of play, all of our teams have adjusted well and achieved success. Notably, our first team matched club record runs in both the FA Cup and Vase, producing performances in both competitions that will live long in the memory. Elsewhere, our Development team have made a flying start to their new Wiltshire League campaign; our Over 50s side have played their first league fixtures, supplementing the growth of our Veterans section; and, of course, our youth section continues to be a source of great strength. The recent addition of a dedicated Girls' side will now hopefully commence the stepping stone process through to our highly successful Ladies team too.
It is sincerely hoped that come the new year all sides continue to progress. And, whilst honours and victories are desirable, emphasis should continue to be on enjoyment and achievement.
We do, unfortunately, expect Coronavirus measures to remain in place for the foreseeable future and sadly football will thus continue to operate in the current restrictions. But with the advent of new vaccines on the horizon, fingers crossed we can get back to a greater degree of normality sometime soon. Rest assured, any changes that occur will continue to be communicated to members once announced.
Finally, I would like to reiterate that despite these difficult times, I have been impressed and immensely proud of the way that all our members have remained resilient and supportive – a fact that further emphasises our 'One Club' ethos.
Thank you – and, once again, Merry Christmas.
Yours in sport,
Royal Wootton Bassett Town Football Club Chairman