Friday, 27th March 2020 @ 16:30
At a difficult time your response has lifted us - together will flourish again
The last few days have been possibly some of the most challenging in the Club’s 154 years of existence.
Postponement of the Gallagher Premiership was followed by the cancellation of the Women’s Tyrrells Premier 15s, and the postponement of all events at The Stoop until further notice.
On Monday we had to deliver a 25% salary reduction across all staff, coaches and players at Harlequins to ensure the viability of the Club through this unprecedented crisis. The health and welfare of all our staff and supporters is at the forefront of our mind and these have all been necessary but incredibly painful actions to endure.
We have been inspired however by the incredible support that you, our amazing supporters, have responded with and I wanted to personally thank you for the many messages and offers to help that you have sent to us, such as waiving interest on Bonds held with the Club, offers to renew Membership immediately for 20/21, to waive refunds for the cancelled matches, to donate funds and eCash balances to the Club, to offer your support to the Club in so many ways…your response has truly lifted us all physically and emotionally.
Your actions show exactly what it means to be a Harlequin so from everyone at the Club, thank you. These actions make a huge difference as we navigate through these incredibly challenging times to ensure the Club can not only survive, but flourish again.
I wanted to use this opportunity to share with you some of the activities that we have delivered in the last week across the Club while there is no rugby, many of which you may have seen on social media. It inspires me to see how we are able to leverage our highly visible position to act as a force for good in the community:
- Our players and coaches have really enjoyed taking time out to contact over 500 of our Members who require our support the most - to check in and ensure they are coping. We have as a result done everything from getting shopping for an elderly Member who was unable to leave the house to sharing rugby stories and smiles. We will continue to roll this out to our wider supporter base as part of the #MakeThatCall campaign.
- Our chef Omar has been preparing meals for local elderly residents and next week will start to share recipes with basic ingredients that every supporter will have in the cupboards.
- We have launched a free daily keep fit video with The Harlequins Foundation and will shortly add to this with fitness tips from our strength and conditioning team - Adam Bishop, Britain’s Strongest Man, knows a thing or two about this I believe!
- We have started sharing rugby skills and Rachael Burford has led the way with video challenges for supporters to try at home. Our coaches will share drills and challenges from next week as we know many parents and children will be at home with a ball and missing playing.
- Our mindfulness coach is going to lead online Q&A and meditation sessions in the coming days to share tools for positive thinking.
- Paul Lasike and Sarah Beckett meanwhile have taken their skill set to a new level and have been taking song requests on social media before singing back to the fans with quite a remarkable response.
In the coming days look out for more similar initiatives from the Club as we aim to focus on health and welfare, supporting local communities and rugby coaching and skills, alongside our normal Quins archive and player focus.
We are working closely with the NHS to support them at this critically important time and will share further news shortly. We also fully understand the personal challenge that all our supporters face today, and we hope in a small way we can bring a little health and happiness to you all.
Finally, thank you again for all your kind messages and offers of support. These truly are very challenging times for the Club but with your support and the dedication of our staff, we will come through this. Please look after yourselves and those around you – remember please to stay at home to support our wonderful NHS.
Are you spending more time in front of a screen? Try this meditation, supported by player welfare partner Charles Stanley