Firstly, let me apologise for the tardiness of this letter. I had the best intentions of sending this out shortly after being elected as the President of the Toronto Nomads Rugby Club. However, the first month in this position has been a complete whirlwind. The learning curve has been steep, and due to the timing of the AGM (held March 5th, 2023) the board and myself have been sprinting towards a quickly approach season start date.
In a little over a month, both our senior men’s and women’s teams will kick off their respective seasons against Guelph on the May 13th, 2023, at Eglinton Flats. Consider this your formal invitation to join us for this at-home season opener! We would love to see the Nomads community out to support all four of our teams playing that day. (First K/O is at 11:00 a.m. with games running until 3:00 p.m.)
Increased community engagement is just one of the areas the board and I have identified as key ways we believe can make a positive impact fairly quickly. These include:
- Updating and maintaining the website: For a lot of the Nomads members this is the source of information and if we would like to engage with our members all things Nomads this platform needs to be the source of all news moving forward.
- Providing engaging social events that bring the club together: We’re hoping to host events that bring all Nomads together—from the Under 6’s up to the alumni—so that everyone can attend and feel a part of this great club; think Nomads Day, club day out to Toronto Arrows games etc.
- Standardised kit across all Nomads sections: JP has spent many hours on designing new off field kit for everyone and I thank him for his hard work. Hopefully this new off-field kit will bring a sense of togetherness and pride throughout the Nomads.
- Increased community engagement: Whether it’s getting more Nomads out to games, recruiting more volunteers to spread the workload, or simply ensuring the actions of the board reflect the Nomads at large: we want our community to feel involved and invited to participate in our path forward. All the policies and procedures that the board are discussing are to benefit the Toronto Nomads Rugby Club for many years to come and any input from the Nomads members would be greatly appreciated.
Even though we have identified key areas where we can make a positive impact on the Nomads community, there are still several areas that continue to be a challenge. We are a club run by volunteers and the volunteers that we have in place are incredible. These people give up countless hours to help make this club what it is, without them the Toronto Nomads Rugby Club would cease to exist. Personally, as a player of the Senior Men’s team, I underestimated how much time and effort it takes to run a Rugby Club. With that being said we do see an opportunity to get more players, parents and alumni involved in the running of this club. At the moment there are a few volunteers doing large amounts of work and we believe the more volunteers we have the more successful we will become as a club.
On the theme of running on a shoestring budget, I am reminded of a great quote: “You grow your way to prosperity; you don’t cut your way to it.”
As a club we have a lot of fixed expense such as permits, referees, physios, etc. These expenses are required to run a successful programme and are only going up. I am of the personal impression that there is only so much cost cutting you can do. And so, instead of looking to cut fixed costs, I believe that the Nomads needs to create new revenue streams through increased sponsorship and donations. These income streams are necessary to provide the capital needed to fund our programmes and to grow as a club.
We are in the process of putting a sponsorship package together and I expect this to be ready for the next board meeting. That being said, we are looking to the community to help us identify potential new sponsors. If you are willing to donate to the club—be it financial or via volunteer hours—don’t hesitate to reach out.
With all that being said, I want to say a thank you for being a part of this great club from the alumni who are an integral part of this club’s history. To the current senior members who carry the Nomads torch at the present, and finally to the minis and juniors who are the future of this club.