Sidmouth Rugby Club gets £50k grant

Rugby ball.

Rugby ball. - Credit: Archant

‘DELIGHTED’ Sidmouth Rugby Club bosses are celebrating securing £50,000 of National Lottery investment.

The huge grant, from Sport England’s Protecting Playing Fields fund, will be used to level and install a drainage system for its two rugby pitches and a training area at Sidford Playing Fields.

It will end regular disappointment for players and supporters by ensuring less matches will be cancelled.

The cash comes from an Olympic and Paralympic legacy fund.

Club Secretary, Terry O’Brien, said: “We are delighted to have secured this investment, which means we can upgrade the quality of the Sidford pitches to match the quality of our rugby.

“As well as being our training ground and the venue for 3rd Team and Colts matches, the ground is also the main headquarters for almost 300 members of our junior section.

“Heavy use, poor drainage and severe undulations have led to steady deterioration in the quality of the pitches.

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“In the past season about 40 per cent of matches and training sessions were lost as the pitches were unplayable.”

Sport England chairman, Nick Bitel, said: “The popularity of this legacy fund shows just how important good local playing fields are to grassroots sport. I’m delighted that even more communities will now benefit.”

Sidmouth Rugby Club was one of 76 projects across England to land funding. There was a record number of bids for a share of £3.5million.

Minister for Sport, Hugh Robertson, said: “The Protecting Playing Fields fund is a key part of the legacy from London 2012 improving facilities up and down the country.”

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