Merry Christmas everyone.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Bedwas RFC

As we come to the end of 2023 and celebrate Christmas and the New Year, we wanted to write to you, our members, supporters, players, coaches, volunteers, sponsors and staff to thank you for your support and hard work over the last year.

Another year, another set of challenges. We won’t dwell on this as you are more than capable of trawling through WalesOnline to see the largely depressing year that was 2023 in Welsh rugby. Let’s hope that the WRU reforms which we have long supported will begin to see some green shoots in the year to come.

Rather than offer a commentary on the ‘state of the game’ I think it is better to celebrate the successes we have had as a club over the last year. A transitional year for the club, there has been lots to be proud of and even more to look forward to in 2024.

Our 1st XV has had an eventful time, with a new coaching set-up taking the reigns and a new Championship East league to navigate. Changes take time to have an effect and supporters could have been forgiven for feeling twitchy as the autumn went on. However, the professionalism and determination with which our 1st XV players and coaches have approached a very competitive season has been great to see. The plan has all come together as we moved into winter and progression in the cup and a run of league wins has shown the true quality of our players. The coaches, operating under very limited resources, have done a great job of moulding the squad and getting the feel-good factor back into our performances. More to come in the second half of the season!

Meanwhile, our 2nd XV, the Bedwas Barbarians have faced a new league of their own. Now participating in the WRU Conference league, alongside Dragons Athletic League games, has exposed the Baabaas to a new level of quality. As a result, the wins are harder to come by, but it has been great to see the squad tackle this new challenge head on. The Barbarians management do great work to keep the boys’ schedule busy and it is fantastic to see these young men grow and develop each week. Keep at it gents.

Elsewhere in the club our thriving Mini and Juniors section continues to go from strength to strength. Testament to the work of the volunteers over several seasons, next year we can look forward to the return of a Bedwas RFC Youth team for the first time since the pandemic. This will see us have a full route from age grade to senior rugby and the whole club is really excited to see how this will grow in the years to come. The Mini and Junior committee are really busy and proactive and a big shout out to them for what they are doing for youngsters in our community.

Off the field, the directors of the club are continuing to work hard to ensure that we keep financial sustainability at heart of the club whilst investing what we can into rugby and facilities. It is a tough balancing act and we certainly have a fierce debate over these decisions, but we are pleased with how the club has gone the last year. We have some headwinds going into next year with business rates going up and servicing historic club debt, but we are confident that the club will have the resilience to meet these challenges next year.

So, all that is left to say is thank you for your support and thank you to everyone who contributes to club life, whether on or off the field. We hope to see you at the club over the festive period and the year to come and we hope you enjoy a very merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Diolch o’r galon,

Will Rees.