Barking RFC ready to hit the ground running thanks to NatWest RugbyForce weekend
- Credit: Archant
Grassroots rugby is back in business and Barking Rugby Club are ready to hit the ground running thanks to the NatWest RugbyForce Weekend 2020 and the Rugby Football Union (RFU).
Last weekend saw the club carry out improvements and repairs to facilities to ensure they are ready for the start of rugby, including clearing and repainting the car park as well as renovating the bar area.
Barking, and fellow local outfit Dagenham, is one of 800 clubs across the country looking forward to the return of rugby, with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) recently giving the green light for clubs to start limited and restricted contact rugby training with inter-club non-contact fixtures able to be organised.
This is a big step for clubs as the RFU moves to phase D in the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap.
Plenty of hard work has gone into making the return to community rugby possible, with volunteers at the club certainly not shy in rolling up their sleeves to play their part.
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“We had about five or six people overseeing small projects and a few more dipping in throughout the day,” said club stalwart Gerry Mansfield.
“We were very pleased with what we managed to get done. It put a good vibe around the place and we are looking forward to getting back to playing and watching rugby when we can.”
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Now in its 12th year, NatWest RugbyForce is a nationwide programme developed with the RFU which provides an opportunity for rugby clubs to welcome team members and volunteers back to help make valuable improvements to their clubs.
With the programme now able to return safely, NatWest is offering more support for the rugby community than ever before with a record number of clubs getting involved in the programme this year.
NatWest has awarded grants ranging from £500 to £30,00 to clubs to help renovate facilities and remain sustainable for longer in these challenging times.
Extra planning was also required to ensure the activity took place safely, with the club following the government’s Coronavirus guidelines and the RFU’s guidance at all times.