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President’s Letter – Season 2020/21

HINDSIGHT IS A WONDERFUL THING. This was probably the worst season ever to become club president, but I am still here and so are Hills.

So a review of the year. I shall not mention the ‘C’ word, but safe to say the last rugby action on the pitch was up at Caithness for the men’s 1st XV, way back in March.

Since then it has been stop-start with training and numbers have drifted a little, but we have maintained a good solid core of players in both the men’s and women’s squads. The major change has been in the growth of the mini’s and juniors. We have been bursting at the seams pre-Christmas and hopefully in 2021 this will continue.

2020/21 has put a huge strain on income over the months of inactivity however our sponsors have stuck with us and I would like to thank them all from the bottom of my heart. Without your generosity, Hills would struggle.

In a first for Hills we organised a huge fundraiser in the form of Drone Bingo which raised over £10,000, and gave a great boost to club funds. We budgeted for £3k to supply sanitisers, disinfectants and information on how to train safely during a pandemic, so the fundraiser was well timed.

I would like to again welcome Tonci Buzov as our new head coach, along with his very able assistant Murray Houston, both of whom have slotted in very well to Hills men’s rugby. We also have a new assistant coach for the women’s rugby team in the form of Ryan Howie who will ably assist Aird Jardine.

Craig Colvin and Mairi McDonald are also assisting coaching (and hopefully with school’s rugby) and no doubt will become great ambassadors for the club. Special mention must go to Mairi for her involvement in the Scottish women’s national team and along with Louise McMillan keep the Hills flag flying at international level.

We started an overhaul of the social media pages and the website during lockdown so you should see a difference in the format and content soon. Zoom is the new way of conducting club business, we live in a virtual world now, which takes a bit of adjusting to, but Hills are confident that when we do get back to running on grass or leaning on the rail at the side of the pitch we will have a stronger, more agile club.

Gary (Kitch) Kitchener

HJRFC President.