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Roary’s first meeting hailed a roarrrring success

DAVID Murgatroyd, one of the enthusiasts who is fronting Roary’s Pride, submitted his thoughts on the new group’s first meeting.

He wrote:

“When I said I wanted to start a junior members’ club, I vowed to make the meetings as exciting for the children as I possibly could.

“I’m happy to report that the first meeting, held in the Vestacare Stadium social club last Saturday, May 18, was exactly that and much, much more.

“Sophie Nixon, Roary (the loveable lion himself) and I hosted the inaugural get-together which was attended by about 18 children with their parents or guardians.

“The young members displayed their artistic skills by colouring in pictures of Roary and then they and their parents were joined by three Oldham- born players, club captain Gareth Owen, forward Danny Bridge and young winger Harry Maders, who popped in after they had finished Saturday morning training.

“Lots of photographs were taken and many autographs signed before the players talked to the children about their early days in rugby, all three of them starting off at Waterhead.

“The players then took part in a new competition, which will run for every Roary’s Pride meeting and will be open to all the different players who will come to future meetings. At the end of the year there will be a prize for the overall winner.

“You know the game, I’m sure. I asked each player a series of questions, the objective being to avoid, in reply, the words ‘yes’, ‘no’ or ‘don’t know’ for as long as they could.

“Gareth Owen (33 seconds) is in the lead from Harry Maders (23 secs) but we’ll not say anything about Danny Bridge’s three seconds! He fell for it hook, line and sinker.

“We were then joined by Blue Watch from Hollins Fire Station. Lee, the Watch commander, gave us a safety talk about the dangers of fires and gave us expert advice about what to do if a fire was to happen at home.

“One of the proud ‘Pride’ mums was then asked to step forward to dress up in a firefighter’s uniform.

“Blue Watch showed our members around a fire engine and told us what all the equipment was used for.

“But the best was kept for last when the fire crew unrolled one of the hoses and let the children and Roary spray water over the car park. The children had a great time and so did their parents.

“Linda Mills from Rugby Oldham, who sponsor Roary’s Pride, reminded parents that membership of ‘Pride’ gives them membership to Rugby Oldham and explained a little of what Rugby Oldham, the Supporters’ Trust, is all about.

“I was thrilled to bits with how the meeting went so a massive thanks to Sophie, without whose help I would be struggling; to Lee and Blue Watch, who were absolutely fantastic; to the three players; to Linda from our sponsors; to Roary; and to the parents for bringing their children along.

“A date for the next meeting will be announced soon. We will have new pictures to be coloured in, three different players to chat to, and we will talk to another one of the emergency services.

“The whole idea of Roary’s Pride was to give children a little bit of knowledge and plenty of fun and also to give them pride in themselves, their family, their town and their favourite rugby league club. Who else but Roary’s Roughyeds!

“Even after one meeting I can confidently say it’s working!”

DAVE ‘MURGY’ MURGATROYD. Oldham RLFC, ‘Pride’ co-ordinator.

What parents said . . .

Catherine Snape:

“The first Roary’s Pride meeting was a great success. The children had an opportunity to meet and chat with players, get autographs and take selfies. They also enjoyed meeting local firefighters and having a look around a fire engine. Thanks to Roary and Dave for organising it. We ca’nt wait for the next one!”

Andrew Wood:

“A great first Roary’s Pride meeting. Evie absolutely loved it. Hollins Fire and Rescue team was amazing, giving us a fun and informative tour around the fire engine. A big thanks to Dave, Sophie, Roary and the players who took time out of their day to take part and speak to the kids. Everyone involved should be proud of how it went”

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AS you all know from your own experiences these are tough times for everybody, but we believe you will agree that OLDHAM RLFC is taking massive inspiration from the fabulous NHS and other key workers in tackling Covid head-on, while looking forward positively to the 2021 season and better times ahead thanks to the outstanding work now being done to get people vaccinated as quickly as possible.

Nevertheless, we have to face facts and be realistic enough to accept that the club urgently needs every pound that is currently coming in from whatever source. One of those sources is our Club Cash lottery and we would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who support us on this. A lot of you who used to pay our collectors on the doorstep have responded to our suggestions on how to pay by different methods and we are extremely grateful for that. Thanks again. You will never know how much difference your contributions make.

Alas, our income from the lottery has dropped by more than 50 per cent over the course of the pandemic and that would be a huge blow financially at any time let alone a time of unprecedented hardship because of the pandemic. It really is a situation we seriously need to address.

With that in mind the prize fund for the duration of the latest national lockdown will be temporarily reduced from February 10.

You will still be able to win a £1,000 first prize, plus £100, £50, £25 and ten £10 prizes every week, while continuing to provide vital support for the club and it will only cost you £1 a week. You can’t get a decent coffee for that, but the difference it makes to the club when multiplied a few times over and then multiplied again by 52 – the number of weeks in the financial year – is of major significance.

If you can help us at all — for £1 a week — it would be hugely appreciated by everyone with Oldham RL Club at heart. The prize structure still represents good value for money for an outlay of £1.

To those who are already members and help us accordingly, we very much hope to retain your support at this extremely difficult time.

Should you wish to play but don’t, due to the pausing of cash collection rounds, we have other options available, which you can discuss with our lottery administrator, John McAndrew on 07980129541 or from the club on 07904 898177.

Alternatively, you can send an email to: mcandrewj@aol.com or to: enquiries@roughyeds.co.uk

The prize fund will be increased back to previous levels as soon as latest lockdowns are released. Please watch our website and social media platforms for further announcements.

Finally, if you want more information about the lottery or you wish to discuss your membership please contact one of the numbers given above.

A huge thank-you to you all.

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