ABOUT ST MARY'S RFC
We are a diverse and inclusive Rugby Club in Bradley Stoke, Bristol running
- Minis and Juniors teams from the age of 6-17,
- a Senior Ladies Team that is a pathway Club for Bristol Bears Women and
- 3 Senior Mens teams.
We are an O2 Touch Centre welcoming players from outside of our Club and we also run a Walking Rugby team for families and mixed ability particpants.
We pride ourselves on this and the development of talent, seeing our members move on to higher things is one of our values as evidenced by some of our former players like
- Jake Polledri, Gloucester & Italy,
- Callum Braley, Treviso and Italy,
- Joe Joyce, Bristol Bears and Ireland U20s and
- Nathan Chamberlain to Edinburgh Rugby and Scotland U20s.
SMOB Ladies have seen
- Kyara Martin, Jo Smith and Phoebe Beer go up to Bristol Bears Women,
- Sammy Knighton and Kirsty Fido to Cheltenham Tigers and
- Emily Robson has represented British Police and
- Tori Gilmartin the British Army.
Ultimately we are really passionate about playing for fun, coaching with a growth mindset and ensuring that everyone who wants to play gets to play.
Since the beginning of lockdown our Club has had to cease all of its sporting and social activities, resulting in a significant financial hit;
We continued to invest in the grounds and pitches, so as lockdown was eased, we have been able to train and share our facilities with our Gaelic Football and Association Football partners. As well as grounds maintenance costs we have continued to employ (rather than Furlogh) our Club Manager to carry out maintenance work in the clubhouse and on the pitches.
Our usual summer income comes from being able to host our Minis and Juniors Festival in April, where over 40 Clubs come to play, summer parties for corporate clients, as well as social events and functions, inclusding weddings, and birthday parties. Over the last few years these events have been vital to raise funds for us to carry our improvements to our facilities and to help us widen participation. Because of the COVID situation we have so far lost £40,000 of income from not being able to run these events.
GIVING TO OUR COMMUNITY
Despite our own difficulties, St Mary's have been active in raising cash for our Community, as our Chairman explains in his video - raising funds for the NHS Charities, RFU Injured Players Foundation, the Bristol Bears Community Foundation and Mental Health Awareness.
But now we need to raise our own funds to complete our improvement projects so we can continue widening participation for Girls and Women's Rugby and provide better facilities so that when COVID is over we can generate more income ourselves and become sustainable again.
WHAT DO WE NEED THE MONEY FOR?
We urgently need cash to pay for the refurbishment of our Kitchen including the purchase of a new Commercial Grade Cooker and the reconfiguration of the space so we can safely operate in a post COVID world. Being able to provide food means our members and guests stay longer, enjoy the experience and contribute to increasing our revenue and funding.
Additionally we have had to pause the installation of our external tractor store due to lack of money. We need to hire specialist equipment and run services to this location as well as finalise the groundworks and then carry out the erection.
This will free up space that is the first stage in a vision to develop dedicated Female changing facilities to help us to make better use of our pitches and facilities and further develop Girls only sides and a second Senior Ladies team.
In an effort to make a real difference to our Club, we have enlisted the support of CrowdFunder to reach out to our wide community of supporters and friends through their crowdfunding website platform and Sport England have joined in to match fund all donations by 50%.
So if we hit our £15,000 target we will receive an additional £7,500 from Sport England. This will enable us to complete our planned improvement projects.
Please let all your friends and families know about this CrowdFunder page, including the many that no longer live in our area, but who enjoyed supporting or playing at the Club over the years. Help us kick COVID into touch!