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Olympics windfall will transform Cricklade club
A WAIT of 21 years for a proper place to get changed is over for Cricklade Rugby Club after it scooped a £50,000 windfall from Olympic legacy funds.
Sport England this week committed £1.6m to 38 sports groups in the South West through its Inspired Facilities Olympic and Paralympic legacy fund, which is designed to improve and refurbish sporting venues.
Cricklade will receive £50,000 of that pot after making a successful application and will use the money to build changing rooms at its Fairview Fields home in Calcutt Street.
The club, which has been in existence for 21 years, has had to consistently borrow changing facilities from others, with trips to Cirencester and Cricklade Leisure Centre not uncommon, because there is nothing but a pitch at Fairview.
Chairman Pete Clements said: “We were chosen because we really are short of facilities. We have been begging and borrowing over our entire existence.
“We felt, in order for the club to grow, we needed our own facilities.”
The club fields just one team each week, with around 30 players on the books at Cricklade. Although expansion is high on its priority list, including a greater presence in the children’s game, with youth teams in the pipeline now these improvement works are on the way.
“We have always wanted to expand the game of rugby, but we have been limited in what we can do. People ask us if we are going to do children’s rugby, and of course, we have not been able to without the correct facilities,” said Mr Clements.
“This money allows us to begin another chapter in our existence from a small village team to, possibly, something we can expand and increase the number of teams we have.
“We’d like to have children’s rugby at Cricklade and possibly another adult team.”
Chief Executive of Wiltshire and Swindon Sport, Steve Boocock, said facilities were at the centre of any Olympic legacy and were needed for sports clubs to maximise on their potential.
“Every club says if we can improve the experience of what we offer to people, lots more follows from that.
“There are more memberships signed and more success generally at the level they play, as a result,” he said. “Facilities are often the foundation for a club and reaching its potential.
“We know many clubs struggle because they play in tough environments.
“Cricklade have aspirations, as a club, to attract more players within their good catchment area. They also want to expand their number of teams and hopefully this money will allow them to do that.”
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