‘We want to be a real town club’ says David as Christchurch Saxons launch Vice Presidents’ Club

Donovan Lynaghan, Chairman of Christchurch RFC, with David McDonald, President.

By Daniel Face [email protected]

Published: December 21, 2023 | Updated: 21st December 2023

It was only five years ago that Christchurch Saxons made their triumphant return to competitive rugby, but already they’ve been making waves in the local leagues.

Christchurch Saxons logoLast year saw the men promoted to Hampshire’s third division, while this year they fielded two men’s teams for the first time since the nineties.

The women are still going strong, too, after teaming up with Oakmedians Ladies in Bournemouth.

“We’re trying to create a club that’s available and accessible to anybody”, said Club President David McDonald, who last spoke with Dorset Biz News in 2021 ahead of the debut season for Christchurch Ladies.

“Our mission is to provide a safe place for people to play, learn and grow.”

The latest step in that mission has been the formation of the new Vice Presidents’ Club, who held their inaugural pre-match lunch earlier this month.

With more than 25 members and counting – from former players, to volunteers, to fans – the club is a way of rallying the local community and starting to build a fund for the future.

David McDonald“Our sponsors automatically become Vice Presidents, but others who want to join can pay a one-off fee”, David explained.

“We’ve pulled together a lot of the old boys who used to play for the club back in the nineties and noughties.

“They get membership of both the rugby club and the East Christchurch Sports and Social Club, and access to international club ballot tickets.

“Vice Presidents also get discounts from all our sponsors and partners, regular updates and a badge.

“But the main aim is to get a lot more businesses involved, because when we look to grow, having those local contacts and local people who want the club to succeed is going to be pretty vital.

“We want to be a real town club and really do what we can to support Christchurch.”

In recent years that’s meant helping out with local events like Christchurch Carnival and the Christmas lights switch-on.

They’ve also secured sponsorships from plenty of local businesses – Blanchard Wells, B&R Electrical Contractors, Caspian:One, Express Security, Hoburne, Nusara and The Saxon Bar.

Donovan Lynaghan, Chairman

But that alone won’t be enough for the big plans David and Chairman Donovan Lynaghan have for the club, which the Vice Presidents’ Club brings them one step closer to achieving.

“Our vision that we set out a couple of years ago was to within five years have two teams actively playing, a ladies’ team, a fully functioning mini and youth section, and ultimately to be in charge of our own destiny”, said David.

“We’re looking into investing in future locations as we grow.

“But as long as there’s a central hub that people have a sense of belonging to, a sense of place, I think that’s really important. So that’s the dream.”

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