Rugby Club Issue 73 - Page 33

Old Alleynians in to the potential redevelopment of the club’s ground. The club’s pitches need extensive work, and this is currently being assessed with the help of England Rugby’s facilities and grounds team. This will be the first phase of a larger project to bring the grounds up to the standard required to support the growth in playing numbers. The scheme is likely to include new pitch drainage and irrigation systems, pitch regrading, extensive new parking as well as new clubhouse and changing room facilities, which will allow the club to offer its membership more appropriate, safe, modern facilities that meet all current RFU & Sport England standards. Part of the option study will include a sustainability strategy to ensure that the new facilities are carbon neutral and self- supporting in energy terms. The club is also on a very long list for one of the RFU’s one hundred 3G pitches, which would further support growth and offer more playing opportunities, for members and the local community. The new pitches and the redevelopment plan will also support the community outreach programme, providing grass pitches to partner schools, colleges and universities landlocked in urban sites with no green playing space. Also, 33 Issue 73 part of the club’s community partnership programme is a bursary strategy for disadvantaged young people to ensure that rugby at Old Alleynians is inclusive and excludes no-one. The club’s biggest challenge for the next five years is probably keeping up with the pace of its growth in player numbers, supporting the massive rugby family that now includes 839 youth players and in excess of 250 senior players and their families to ensure that they and the wider community can get access to quality rugby, whether that’s sevens, tens, tag, touch or XV-a-side. Old Alleynians aim to deliver rugby for all in a safe, appropriate, high quality environment that supports the personal development of its players, volunteers and coaches, celebrating what is great about the game. England Rugby’s core values: teamwork, respect, enjoyment, discipline and sportsmanship are alive and well in South East London. Inclusivity and rugby for all is paramount, fun is at the top of the agenda. Sometimes the journey is as much fun as arriving at the destination! 33