WHO ARE WE?
We are a community-based rugby union club in Yeadon/Guiseley, north of Leeds, providing the opportunity for all ages to play and enjoy the game of rugby union.
Formed 50 years ago this year, Aireborough RUFC, run solely by volunteers on a “not-for-profit” basis, has expanded its offering over recent years to build mini and junior teams from age 6 to colts bringing continuity through to our two senior sides.
As the largest of three sports clubs within a sports association based at Nunroyd Park our clubhouse and pitches (leased from the Council) also benefit local charity and community groups who regularly use our facilities. These groups include those offering activities for the elderly, mental health & wellbeing services, and physical activities to a wide age range.
Taking advice from HM Government the RFU cancelled all rugby from the 17th March due to the Covid 19 pandemic. Whilst some limited rugby activity has resumed, we are still someway off returning to the full contact game we all enjoy.
Apart from the impact on all the senior, mini and junior players being unable to play the game they love and having to suspend all scheduled charity and community activities, Aireborough RUFC has suffered a big impact financially over the past 6 months.
Our fixed costs to maintain the clubhouse and pitches have still had to be met, but income from matches, the bar, social events and external functions have completely dried up. In addition to potentially losing a significant deposit paid towards a 50th anniversary celebration and the withdrawal of several sponsors due to their own financial challenges, income generation will remain difficult until existing restrictions are eased considerably.
MAINTENANCE OF OUR KEY ASSETS
Infrequent Maintenance – Winter - Unplayable
Infrequent Maintenance – Summer - Threadbare
Regular Maintenance – All Year Round - Lush
Our two pitches and floodlit training area are our key assets with ongoing maintenance being essential to keep them in good condition, minimise closure during poor weather and accommodate heavy usage throughout the year by both our junior and senior sections as well as making them available to various local community groups.
Pitch maintenance by the council that we used to rely on is now virtually non-existent due to budget cuts over many years. In recent times we have paid contractors from time to time to do crucial work on the pitches, but this is costly and unsustainable going forward. Our long-term strategy is to invest in our own equipment that club volunteers can operate in order that we can become self-sufficient in maintaining and improving the standard of our playing surfaces.
Initially we require hand operated aerating, scarifying, spreading and mowing machinery with the ultimate goal of acquiring our own mini tractor with the necessary attachments.
Together with Crowdfunding we have the opportunity with your help to raise much needed funds to get us through this crisis until our normal revenue streams come back on tap. We are hoping to raise money through donations and pledges to reach our target which will also enable us to start to invest in some of the key pitch maintenance equipment referred to above.
As we begin to emerge from this crisis there are signs that there is an increased demand for the provision of activities that will enhance both physical and mental health and fitness. Our ability to bounce back stronger than before and offer what our members and community want from us is reliant on the success of this fundraising campaign as well as the tremendous input of all our volunteers.
As a thank you to those who donate we are offering a range of rewards that include opportunities to receive international tickets and club leisurewear.
With your generous support you can help to ensure that our fixed property & maintenance related costs can be met on an ongoing basis (including additional costs relating to “Covid Safe” measures) and our planned pitch improvement & maintenance programme can be progressed through the procurement of equipment and erection of an appropriate storage unit.
Your donation, small or large, will help the club to continue to offer rugby activities to over 250 local people aged 6 to 60 and open our facilities to community groups so they can continue their valuable services.