Club affiliation fees wiped for 2020

Club affiliation fees wiped for 2020

The Manawatū Rugby Union have wiped club affiliation fees for its clubs in 2020 in a bid to assist clubs through the challenging economic climate.

The MRU will also contribute $25 per 500 Club and Rural Community Group membership with those signing on with the respective groups able to define the club their contribution supports.

Affiliation fees are usually charged to clubs based on the number of senior teams they entered in McDonalds Manawatū Senior Club Rugby to assist with the operational costs of the senior 1, senior 2, senior 3, colts, presidents and women’s grades.

Clubs are preparing for the start of the club season, which gets underway with the McDonalds Manawatū Hankins Shield on June 20.

Eight teams will take part in the Hankins Shield and while the other grades are awaiting final confirmation of entries before draws are finalised, all 16 clubs in Manawatū, including the newly established Mauri Sports Club, will be represented by at least one team.

MRU Operations Manager Martin Brady said the union wanted to help alleviate the financial pressure on clubs due to COVID-19.

“While the MRU isn’t in a position to assist clubs financially in these uncertain times by way of donations, what we as a provincial union can do is not place further burden on clubs by charging fees this season,” he said.

Chief executive Shannon Paku said the union wanted to help clubs where possible.

“We understand that clubs are facing tough financial times, we are not immune to those challenges either. But our community team have been working hard to find ways to assist clubs. Clubs form a vital role in our community and seeing them thrive is crucial to our region.”

“We are excited for the start of club rugby and hope that the community get out to support their local clubs.”

Paku said the union’s ability to support clubs was thanks to the crucial support of Manawatū Rugby’s commercial partners who have stood loyal to the province through challenging times.

With so many in the community keen to support clubs, Paku said they wanted to open the door for supporters of the 500 Club and Rural Community Group to directly contribute to their local club, which is why club contributions have been added to the packages.

The 500 Club is a package sold to businesses in the region and was established in 2015, while the Rural Community Group was established in 2018 for farmers and growers to come together for their shared passion of rugby.

The 2020 500 Club and Rural Community Groups will be launched when New Zealand Rugby confirm the draw for the 2020 Mitre 10 Cup season.

Paku added the MRU were also looking into ways as to how to create other opportunities for clubs to raise money through assisting with the delivery of Mitre 10 Cup games.