One of Teesside’s top rugby clubs is appealing to the community to help them raise the cash they need to survive the Covid closedown.
Redcar Rugby Union Club have launched a crowd-funder and set a £10,000 target that will trigger a Sport England pledge to match it.
Neil Young, chairman of the club who won promotion to Durham/Northumberland League 2 as champions last season, has made a Facebook appeal that has gone viral.
The Seasiders – celebrating their centenary year – have worked hard to support their community during the lockdown and are now hoping rugby loving Redcar residents and oval ball fans beyond the town will dig deep.
Elite sport has been insulated from the pandemic pause by TV money and big sponsors but at the grassroots level clubs have been hard hit.
Redcar have no income through the gate or over the bar and they can’t hire out the function rooms at their Mackinlay Park home.
But they still have utility bills to pay and the pitch and facilities need to be maintained ready for action to resume.
“We’ve always done our utmost to help our community stay healthy and active from providing a free facility to schools, colleges and other local sports teams,” said Neil. “We were giving away 100’s of free rugby balls to local kids during the first lockdown.
“And we stepped in and distributed free lunches for families who were struggling over the half-term whilst the Government’s free school lunches scheme was not available.
“But now as the enforced closures to ‘non-essential’ business continue, it’s become apparent that financially we are in A VERY DIFFICULT POSITION,” he warned.
“We are looking to raise £10,000 through our crowd funder page to ensure Redcar RUFC can survive this extremely difficult period,” he explained.
“If we achieve this within the 27 day time limit after setting up our crowd funder then Sport England have pledged to match our total meaning we would generate £20,000.
“That would give our organisation a desperately needed cash injection to continue to operate.
“So please, please, please donate as little or as much as you can so our club can continue to represent and serve the town of Redcar beyond its centenary year.”
The Sport England grants from the £16.5m Return To Play fund are available to all community clubs who have lost money during the lockdown, from the smallest volunteer run clubs up to bigger set-ups playing at much higher levels of organised sport.
Tees Valley Sport is an umbrella group that works with local authorities and national funding bodies to support clubs through what can be a very complex system of applying for grants from the various national funding bodies.
If you are a club, group or individual delivering sport and physical activity in the Tees Valley and you have been affected by the ongoing Covid 19 virus you may be eligible for help.
Contact email@example.com and they will try and help you with funding applications to the various local and national support programmes.
Click here to support Redcar Rugby Club: