Minutes from Fans Forum Meeting Wednesday 30th March

The first Leeds Rhinos Fans Forum meeting of 2016 took place on Wednesday 30th March and the Rhinos Forum members heard from guest speaker, Nicola Booth (Leeds Rhinos Foundation Dance Development Manager and Leeds Rhinos Dance Captain)

The below minutes are in a new, condensed format and include all feedback which has come in from either Forum members directly or via [email protected]. The responses to all feedback are also included so if you send in emails prior to these meetings, the minutes include the replies from the Club.
If you have any feedback that you would like to be discussed at one of the Fans Forum meetings then please email [email protected] and this will be discussed at the meetings and published in the minutes shortly after the meeting has taken place.
Fans Forum Meeting Wednesday 30th March

Fans Forum Members: 
Attendees: Mark Nelson, Sam Brightbart, Rachel Barker, Danny Frank, Sue Millard, Gerry Alleyn and Jon Williams.

Apologies: Simon Whitehead, Alistair Senior, Barbara Senior.
Leeds Rugby Attendees:
Sian Jones (Head of Customer Experience & Meeting Chair)
Guests for the Evening:
Leeds Rhinos Foundation Dance Development Manager
Nicola Booth
Meeting Dates for 2016
Wednesday 27th April at 7pm (Group)
Wednesday 22nd June at 7pm (Carnegie)
Wednesday 27th July at 7pm (Rhinos)
Wednesday 26th October at 7pm (Carnegie)
Wednesday 23rd November at 7pm (Rhinos)
Wednesday 14th December at 7pm (Group)

Nicola Booth
Nicola has worked for Leeds Rhinos since she was 16 years old. Originally she joined to be a part of the Leeds Rhinos Dance Team. She studied Dance at University and when she returned to the club she was made Captain of the Leeds Rhinos Dance Team. This role involved managing and leading the dance team but also choreographing the routines which are new for every game.
Seven years ago, Nicola created the concept of the Rhinestones which is dance classes for young children and is linked to the Leeds Rhinos Foundation. Originally there was one venue (Headingley Carnegie Stadium) and now she manages 3 venues across Leeds (Headingley Carnegie Stadium, Ralph Thoresby and Temple Moor High Schools) with a further 2 coming up in the future.
Two years ago, Nicola was brought in full time by the Leeds Rhinos Foundation to manage Dance development within the community via the Foundation. Nicola goes into schools and teaches a variety of dance classes to children for six week periods and also offers teaching support for the teachers within the schools. In addition to this she manages the ART award with support from Alishia Schofield (another member of the Rhinos Dance Team) in schools.
In addition to her new role with the Foundation, she continues to manage the Rhinos Dance Team, the Rhinestones Dance Academy and any other Dance related activity within the club including
additional dance demonstrations on match day as part of the match day entertainment.
Nicola demonstrates the value of spreading the Leeds Rhinos brand by providing a different activity for children to get involved in other than Rugby.
For further information on the Dance aspect of the Leeds Rhinos Foundation that Nicola manages then please take a look online – www.leedsrhinosfoundation.org/dance.
Feedback from Rachel Barker – Fans Forum Member
If the application is successful, what happens if there are more season ticket holders than the reduced capacity allows? Will it just be first come first served and there will be no paying on the gate / away supporters etc?

We have stated that we will guarantee a position within the stadium for all members who purchased a season membership in 2016 during the build. All further arrangements will be communicated in due course. However, there will of course be away supporters.

What will happen to the season ticket concession of bring a friend next year?
All information with regards to season member benefits will be circulated in due course – the reduced capacity does mean that we are limited with inventory and have to ensure our members are covered first.
Feedback from Mark Nelson – Fans Forum Member
The recent stadium development plans look very good but it is imperative it goes through. If it doesn't then plan b needs sorting out asap as the stadium is in need of a massive redevelopment.
This is not something that is currently in our focus.
When they rebuild the south stand where will we go?
There will be communication coming out soon with regards to this. We did send out some information to members when the consultations were taking place explaining that how it was going to be managed during the build. Rhinos 2016 Members have renewal priority and will either go into the Carnegie or West Terrace (based on first come, first served) or purchase a seat from what is available once the Rhinos 2016 seated members have renewed theirs. A thorough piece of communication will be circulated shortly.
New ticket system is good and easy to use
Thank you – we are really pleased with it and feedback so far has been good. Granted the early days of the system were tricky but we have most of it ironed out now – we still appreciate feedback though so if you have any more then please email [email protected]

Feedback from Simon Whitehead – Fans Forum Member

I'm a bit disappointed at the gear in the club shop. I haven't bought anything this season, I think the training gear is a re-hash of previous years and the green and graphite away shirt is dreadful. How long will our ISC link continue?

We are contracted with ISC and that currently this is the kit supplier we are remaining with. In terms of the training range, we have had some good feedback this season so we are sorry to hear it is not to taste. We also offer other ranges of apparel in store so that it is not just the ISC range available. This is to try and suit other fans.

Due to current form, will ticketing for the middle eights play off and million pound game be the same as previous years super eights play offs?! E.g. season ticket holders get priority? 

The arrangement will be the same as last season. The Super 8s are including in the season membership anyway and there will be a priority period for members for semi finals / million pound game.

“Customers or Fans/Supporters" – I’ve been asked if the wording on some posters can be changed. I was hounded at the WCC game by a group of customers (see what I did there?) in relation to this. The group seemed upset that we are known as customers rather than fans or supporters of the club. Their point was that the club have lost / are losing the 'club feel’ and instead are running as a business. They appreciate that in order for clubs to be sustainable then we need to run as a business but would prefer us to be known as fans rather than customers. I said I’d raise….

Thank you for bringing the sign matter to our attention – we will get this resolved as soon as possible. These signs have been in situ for a long time so probab
ly need a little re-vamp!

Can I thank all fellow Rhinos fans for their kind words and messages during a difficult time and to Leeds Rhinos as a club. I unexpectedly received a card which was very nice and a thoughtful gesture from the club which will be passed on to the family. The club along with Danny Frank were very active on their website on hearing of Tom’s disappearance and now in hearing the sad news. This shows how special the RL family is. Thanks again! – This was on behalf of Tom Ducey’s family.

This was very sad news and our thoughts are with Tom’s family and friend at this difficult time.

I’ve had loads of messages on ticketing moans over the close season– I’m not going to forward them all on but they are all regarding the new ticketing system and problems with it in the early days. The messages have stopped do I assume that issues have now settled down.

Granted the early days of the system were tricky but we have most of it ironed out now – we still appreciate feedback though so if you have any more then please email [email protected]

Pre Match Entertainment – Can we bring back opera man? He never fails to build up the atmosphere! Or something with more spectator participation – something similar to the ‘It’s A Knockout’ in inflatable fancy dress and have to do something on the pitch. Maybe invite members of supporter’s hubs to take place and have a mini-league throughout a few weeks to get a winner?

I will pass this feedback onto the Marketing department – they have a few more on pitch activities during the summer as we limit pitch activity during the earlier months. Opera Man will make an appearance during the season – we don’t involve every week as we like to provide different match day entertainment where possible.

Remembering Billy Watts – Should we honour Billy at the new training facilities at Kirkstall? 
There is no doubt they will be some sort of honour for Billy so it will be on the agenda for future

Feedback from Ian Spink – via email
As one of a number of season ticket holders in the Carnegie stand I would like to know as would many others when the missing and broken tv screens will be back showing sky coverage of super league.
They have now been off for some time and nothing seems to have be happening.

This is the first time we have been made aware of this matter so I have escalated it to the stadium manager who is arranging to fix the monitors either ahead of the Hull KR game or Hull FC game
Feedback from Ian Sharp – via email
Can I make a couple of suggestions worth regards to Ronnie the Rhino Easter / Springtime Party for junior fans? 

The majority of kids are on a two week school holiday (because Easter is 'early' this year, – The majority of kids are on a two week school holiday (because Easter is 'early' this year, their two week break follows after the main public holiday and yet the party is scheduled for the 13th April, when these kids are back at school. Could this have been better timed (for things like childcare and logistical reasons) by actually holding it during the actual school holiday period?
The Easter holidays have fallen over a 4 week period this year so it was very difficult to pick dates to suit everyone and we have to take other factors into account such as staffing, player schedules and room availability. The majority of Ronnie’s Club members attend Leeds schools and the dates chosen for the party fall within their holiday period so even though it is unfortunate for members who are not on holiday at this time we felt we were catering for as many as we could
The party is due to kick off at 1730 and whilst I appreciate that teeny-tinys present (and personally living 50+ miles away from Leeds) I would still suggest that this would be difficult to get to from some parts of even Leeds via public transport straight after school.  Would an 1830 start or even two sessions, with say a 1730 and 1930 starts, be better for the participants?
Again this is dependent on room availability and the Café Bar which is most suited to the event is in use from 7pm onwards. From previous experience we have found that having the party a little bit earlier suits the attendees. We have considered doing an early and late session and splitting this by age but unfortunately this is not convenient for families with siblings, of which there are quite a few in Ronnie’s Club.
Also doing sessions back to back would result in a long wait between the two whilst staff turn the room around.

The parties are great for the kids, but with a bit of tweaking, could be made even better and more accessible for children in Leeds and beyond.

On average we have 100 children and accompanying parents in attendance over two evenings and the ages range from 3-11 years old. It’s great to see such strong support for Leeds Rhinos from our Ronnie’s Club members but the parties are challenging to organise and take weeks of planning. We really appreciate your feedback and we do try our best to cater for everyone.
Feedback from Graham Wordsworth – via email
Am I alone in finding the new web site difficult to read. The blue diagonal flashes across the page obscure the text making it almost impossible to decipher. I can see no good reason for them other than 'artistic effect' but it is very frustrating when you can only read half an article

Feedback from Steve Bradbury – via email
Being a fervent follower of the Rhinos I frequently look at the web site on a most regular basis. I and a number of my friends and colleagues are all finding the new background colour scheme proving to be very difficult in distinguishing the print when reading. The colours are simply not compatible to enable the print to be easily read.
Could I ask that this issue be discussed to see if this is a problem for other users of the website.

We are still developing the website and hope to have issues cleared up shortly. In particular we recognise the stories could be clearer to read and we are working on that. We do welcome feedback and we can pass them on to our web providers to improve. Please address all feedback to [email protected].
Your comments that we have already received will be passed onto our web providers, Sotic.