Dagenham looking to create a lasting legacy as club aims to help those in the borough
PUBLISHED: 10:00 16 January 2019
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Central Park club chasing success both on and off the field
Dagenham closed to within two points of local rivals Upminster in the Essex League Dvision One table without even taking to the pitch on Saturday.
The Central Park club were due to host Mersea Island, but were awarded a walkover win with the opposition unable to raise a team.
That gave Dagenham a chance to reflect on recent events behind the scenes, with positive steps being made by the club.
The Central Park side have seen numbers fall in youth and senior sections in recent seasons, not only at their club but others too.
The social issues faced by many in the area mean that leisure activities are not seen as a great priority, mainly down to the cost of kit, memberships and general fees.
With this in mind, Dagenham have been in talks with their sponsors and partners in an effort to introduce a level of investment to allow both children and young adults the opportunity to participate in rugby without the worry of excessive costs.
Head coach Brian Wren said: “While in its infancy, the club are pleased to announce a five-year sponsorship deal with current club sponsors Savoy Ventures Limited.
“We’ve set up three areas where we can help each other. Firstly, Savoy have offered an employment pathway for young adults at the club.
“In the past three months, 10 players have found themselves in full-time employment working in a variety of fields within Savoy Ventures Limited.
“The second area we are looking to focus on is a fully funded development squad from September 2019.
“This means we are looking for players aged 18-23 who will benefit from being part of a structured group.
“Thirdly, and probably most importantly, is the development of youth rugby in the borough.
“There are significant numbers of children from the borough who either have no access to the sport or play their rugby outside of the borough.
“We are engaging with the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham with a view to creating a free fully funded minis section.
“This will mean that kids aged between five and 11 will have the opportunity to try rugby and play in a structured environment without the financial burden that a lot of families in the borough struggle with.”