It’s been an incredible week, since we had a surprise visit from Ex Harlequins and England international Ugo Monye, who brought with him the Gallagher Rugby Club of the Season award. It’s slowly starting to sink in and we think we have finally got around the whole club to thank everyone whose hard work and dedication went into us receiving it.
From the club house burning down in 2003 and finally having to close the gates on the playing field, to what started as a one off training session for a local parent’s children, the growth has been incredible.
We have gone from two seasons as a tenant on a local pitch to finding our way back to the club’s original home on Spring Lane Playing Fields. But this was when the work began, as in the intervening 15 years the clubhouse (and fondly remembered communal bath) had disappeared and the pitches, which at times had seen the club able to field five full teams, become overgrown and unloved.
We started the 2018 season with a bus for changing rooms as we couldn’t have any fixed buildings on site. While this offered a unique sight for visiting teams, it certainly made for close knit pre-match preparations, but the kids do love it!. As we have proven the need for more permanent fixtures we have been able to add a few containers, but these are hardly of luxurious premiership standard. One container per team for changing rooms and one more to function as the canteen to offer hot drinks, and more, to tired bodies and dedicated supporters.
We have endured equipment going missing, damage to the posts, dodgy generators and the toilet sewers collapsing. But all this is done for one purpose, to provide a place for people of all abilities, backgrounds and motivations to come and benefit from being part of a club (that just happens to play rugby!).
Whether it’s the dedicated senior team, playing under 6 portable floodlights (5 of which we usually managed to get working… The after schools rugby program that has put rugby back on the curriculum for an expanding number of local schools and provided a place and focus for local kids. Or Sunday morning where we welcome over 50 mini and junior players to come and learn the benefits of rugby from a young age for FREE.
But we need your help to be able to continue to grow and offer FREE rugby to the next generation of rugby players and fans in the local area and the wider community. Please help us by getting involved. You can donate to us via Paypal or if you want to offer support through sponsorship please speak to our Club Community Officer, Andy Truman, who you may have seen and heard from recently doing the rounds on the back of our award.
Or if you just fancy coming down and helping out and being part of the best grass roots club in the country!