Stockton Rugby Club
We are a community ruby club formed in 1873 and are approaching our 150th Anniversary. Our club has such a rich history and has nurtured the likes of Geoff Parling who went on to represent England and the British Lions and we are now witnessing the transition of our junior players up into our senior sections, which makes us equally as proud of the pathways and opportunities we have provided to young people.
We embarked on a brave move from our home of 70 years to grow and settle within the heart of the local community. We formed a partnership with the local Academy School and Cricket club to increase membership capacity and decrease overhead costs. This move proved to be a major catalyst in the growth of the club, as we witnessed member and volunteer numbers increase dramatically.
With an emphasis on community involvement, we formed partnerships and delivered rugby sessions within local primary and secondary schools. This pathway creation into the sport has meant our junior numbers have increased to almost 400 children. We have 20 teams including women and girls representing all age groups, from as little as 2yrs right up to our oldest current player who is 79 years young!
The club lies within an area of extremes in terms of social deprivation which is inextricably linked with poor health, obesity, and mental health issues. We as a club are passionate about providing opportunities and we want everyone regardless of their age, background, or level of ability to feel able to take part in sport and physical activity.
This year we were incredibly proud to feature in the Times newspaper as one of the top 4 grassroots clubs in the Country, the only club in the North of England.
The effects of Covid-19 and why we NEED your support
Six months ago COVID-19 brought the rugby season and the club’s community, leisure, and hospitality activities to a grinding halt. With no revenue which we rely heavily upon from match days, functions, facility hire, community events such as our summer ball and an inability to attract sponsorship, we find ourselves unable to meet the growing demand of the community.
The pandemic has really hit us hard and has had a devastating effect on our future plans. We as a club had ambitions to thrive and were excited to provide the community with more opportunities.
Due to the sharp increase in membership numbers, it became apparent that we needed more space to allow more people to take part and train. Before the Covid 19 pandemic, we had been able to acquire the lease on an unused football pitch, allowing us to accommodate everyone. However, the land needs significant improvements to make it safe and playable but unfortunately due to Covid, we are now unable to undertake the work required.
The land currently is not always useable, especially after heavy rainfall due to insufficient drainage. To make it safe we need to invest in drainage which would make the land accessible all year round, and would achieve our ultimate aim of having more people play rugby more often.
If we don’t receive the funding, we will not have sufficient space to accommodate all players and would therefore be forced to decrease the number of teams at Stockton Rugby Club. This would be devastating to both the club and community, as so much work has gone into developing the club and acquiring the land.
We have survived so far on government support and the cash reserves we had allocated to the development of the new land, however with hospitality and community use all likely to be subject to restrictions for the foreseeable future, our traditional funding streams are all exhausted.
In addition, we need to make improvements to our indoor facilities to ensure it remains a safe and useable space for the club and its members.
Our greatest opportunity lies in our ability to attract participants, especially at the junior level, despite the challenges of Covid, interest in the sport is still growing. It is vitally important that we maintain this growth and invest in our facilities to ensure everyone gets the opportunity to play.
How we will spend the money raised
- Drainage to make the newly acquired pitch playable all year round
- Changing room improvements to ensure safe and appropriate facilities are available for all users
Our efforts now turn to surviving and ensuring that the club will still be around for many years to come. We need your help as a community to not only survive but to also thrive in these challenging times. We want to be ready for when Covid restrictions relax so that everyone can enjoy a smooth transition back to the sport they love.
The impact the club has had on the local community
Being in the heart of the community we are recognised as an organisation that has the well-being of all our local residents at the centre of its ethos. As a club we understand that being active is not just good for you physically, it has the power to do so much more, and we work hard to support Sport England in achieving their key priorities, some of which include; Increasing activity, tackling inequalities for women and lower socio-economic groups and decreasing inactivity.
We have over 50 volunteers who are invaluable to our club. They take on various roles and without their support, the club simply wouldn’t exist. We work closely with other community organisations who use our facilities for many other forms of physical activity – not just rugby.
We have supported fundraising events and annually raise money for the South Cleveland Heart Fund as well as raising funds to support the local Academy with whom we partner with. Our Christmas Carols service has become one of our town’s festive highlights, bringing our whole community together.
Our hashtag #ourtownourclub is more than just a marketing tool, it is a recognition of how proud we are to have been part of the town of Stockton-On-Tees for almost 150 years.
We as a club try our best to give back and provide opportunities to the local community, but we now find ourselves in a position where we are asking that very community to come together and support us. We are therefore asking our local community, club members, players, supporters, residents, and businesses to collectively help us through this challenging period in our history. With your help, we can continue to provide members of our community with the opportunity to take part in regular and meaningful activity.
Any donations received will be hugely appreciated and will be used to undertake the works highlighted above, so please donate if you can and 'pass it on' to a friend or colleague to help spread the word.
USE OUR REWARD SCHEME
Club supporters are kindly providing rewards for donations and pledges, please keep a close eye on the rewards available as we are adding rewards as often as we can.