Letter from Paul Santinelli, SFGG President dtd 8/17/2019:
SFGG players, coaches, administrators and supporters...
It's that time of year where the youngsters head back to school and preparations begin for the upcoming rugby season. With that, we will be hosting the SFGG AGM on Saturday, September 14, 2019 at 10:00am. Following the meeting, the WPL will be playing at SFGG for all those who wish to watch some good rugby and enjoy a beverage or three.
This past year will bring some changes to the leadership group for the SFGG Foundation and Board of Directors.
- Liah Williams will be stepping down as treasurer. Liah has been a pillar in the organization; managing accounts, dealing with bills, sourcing vendors and all of this while playing for the SFGG Women's side. Huge thanks and best wishes to Liah for her two years of service to SFGG and helping us right the ship.
- Spencer Henry will be stepping down as the vice president, due to relocation to Monterey. I would like to thank her for managing rentals and being a leader on the women's side this year.
- As many of you know, I will be stepping down as the president and it was not an easy decision for me. It was my pleasure to serve in the role for the past two years and help with some of the organizational changes that were required for sustainability. It also gave me the opportunity to meet some incredible rugby zealots, who bleed green and are willing to carry the ball across the gain-line for the organization.
Being a part of the SFGG Men's side has made this decision even more difficult. It was because of those men (and women, high school and youth) that I dedicated two years of driving 2 hours each way to training and matches. To see Brendan Daly get an Eagle cap and he and Nathan Sylvia enter the MLR, Colby Stevens getting a crack at the MLR in the last match of the season, Roz Okpara playing WPL and Tyra Norlander getting WPL and International experience with the Sweden National team was worth every minute of commuting.
But most of all was watching the development of our younger players. Neil Foote, Ali Benham, Tony Wells, Neill Barrett, Elvis Seveali'i and a host of others committed their off season to establishing the Bay Area Sharks Academy, a non pay-to-play academy system, to growth our younger players. That academy has presented some incredible opportunities for Alex Lopeti and Jeffrey Peleseuma in the USA U20 competition. And most impressive was Jeffrey's rise to PRP starts as an 18 year old, only later to be invited to the World Rugby Residency Program in Denver from August to November this year, representing our club on a World stage!
All of these personal accomplishments by our players is what makes my departure really difficult. This growth is what makes our club and our sport special. But, due to my regular travel across country and a possible relocation out of state, I felt it was necessary to pass the torch ahead of any personal life changes that would possibly leave a void mid-season.
I'm hoping that some new and experienced blood will step up to drive the club forward. We need role models and mentors, as well as tradespeople and operating people to make this club move forward. So, please take a moment to think about what you can do for the club to pay forward all the benefits the club has afforded you.
I want to personally thank all of you for your continued support of SFGG. I especially want to thank one person, who I think might be living under the bar... as he always is seen behind it making sure your glass is full. Sean Harrington has been another pillar of the club and makes every saturday shine, regardless of the weather.
My final words will be about... fundraising! We need to ramp up our 3Fs (Field, Facility & Foote) initiative. Our performance last year was lackluster and we fell short of our target goal of $100,000 to keep the lights on and the pitch looking like Twickenham. We are well behind on 3Fs and it is critical to keep SFGG alive. So, please reach out to 3Fs sponsors and let's meet our goals. There are two options for collecting 3Fs sponsorship:
Sponsors can pay via paypal here (just add 3Fs in the memo field) -https://bit.ly/2FIUJLv Sponsors can can send the check to: (Please put 3Fs in the memo on the check)
SFGG Rugby Foundation - 3Fs
Attn: Neil Foote
725 California Ave - Treasure Island
San Francisco, CA 94130
See you on September 14th!
President SFGG Rugby