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Monday, 22 September 2014

THE RAIDING PARTY: Barrow Raiders will remember

I MUST start, sadly, by offering the condolences of everybody connected with Barrow RFC to the families and friends of our local hero Alice Pyne and our former player Dave Chisnall.

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Both passed away at the weekend and the world will be a poorer place for their loss.

A minute’s silence was held for Alice on Sunday and the same will be done this coming Sunday for Dave.

The tragic death of Alice – who was an inspirational young lady – at the tender age of 17 puts into perspective our problems regarding floodlights, funding, etc.

In Alice’s short life she surely taught us all that there are many things in life far more important than sport.

Alice and her family attended our fixture against Whitehaven last season as guests of the club and, ironically, it is Haven who will provide the opposition at Craven Park this Sunday in our final pre-season friendly (2pm kick-off).

Monday saw the annual season ticket holders meeting but unfortunately work commitments at Bristol meant I was unable to attend.

The meeting went well, with some good debate and questions from the floor, and yours truly and Phil Heighton were both reelected to the board unopposed.

I received an email from Allan Park informing me of this which said, “bad news Keith – you are still a director!”

Seriously though, I have enjoyed my first 12 months and hopefully have a few more years to offer yet before being shown the door. It hasn’t been easy and I don’t expect it to be a walk in the park in 2013 but, when we achieve our aims and targets, it will hopefully be very rewarding.

The AGM for debenture holders is a week tomorrow at the Lisdoonie Hotel, with a 7.30pm start time.

The Lisdoonie will also host our annual sponsors’ evening this Friday at 7.30pm. This is one of our most important events of the year and, while we are looking for sponsorship for all manner of things (from as little as £20 for the season), everybody is welcome to come along and see what is happening.

There is absolutely no obligation to sponsor anything (though, of course, we hope everybody does so if they can), but it is an ideal opportunity to chat to directors, players, coaches, sponsors and supporters.

There is no cost and it is a good way to start your weekend with a few beers and plenty of rugby league talk.

An immense amount of work has been put into the club’s website in recent months by Keith Holt, David Sharpe and members of David’s workforce.

The result is there for all to see at www.barrowrlfc.com. There is still work to be done to make it perfect, but it is certainly a big improvement. I myself have still to update and refresh the history and hall of fame sections and this will be done soon.

For the first time, club merchandise can now be bought online and donations can be made towards the cost of the new floodlights. Take a look and try to make it part of your daily routine to log on and browse the contents.

The Past and Present Players and Coaches Association has now formed a committee comprising David Cairns, Andy Whittle, Jim Perry and Paul Burns. A formal dinner is being organised for March and hopefully this will prove the first of many events.

Finally, don’t forget Sunday’s match against Whitehaven. Let’s all get right behind the lads and send them into the 2013 season full of confidence.

And remember – the future is bright; the future is blue and white.

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