VIDEO: Sport in 2014 - Rugby club build for future

It’s the final day of our fortnight-long reflections on the sporting highlights of 2014 in the West Sussex area.

And we finish with more of a look forward than a look back - at Chichester RFC’s plans to expand their HQ to give the city a rugby and sporting hub to be proud of.

Declan Hutchings and David Kay look at the clubhouse plans  Picture by Steve Bone

Declan Hutchings and David Kay look at the clubhouse plans Picture by Steve Bone

The £550,000 project to transform their clubhouse at Oaklands Park is taking shape quickly.

With the first XV now in the National League – their highest-ever level – and more children than ever enjoying the sport each week, club members have been working to raise money to fund a major upgrade of their facilities.

Three years ago, current club president David Kay, supported by a small group in the club, decided to kick off a project to transform the HQ into one meeting modern-day standards and the club’s growing needs.

“It was very clear the club was being held back because of the space available,” said Kay, who talks in detail about the plans in the video, above.

“We were having to disappoint people who wanted to attend a lunch or quiz night and our young players were no longer able to sit down together after matches – a key part of what makes rugby special.”

Planning consent was secured and the hard work of fundraising began. “For me it’s always been a community project and one that could succeed only if the whole club worked together,” Kay added.

“I’ve been truly humbled by the breadth and depth of support. Everyone seems excited about the chance to create a legacy for future generations and prepared to contribute.”

That’s it for our look back at 2014 but for the best news, views, pictures and video of local sport in 2015, stick with the Observer series and this website

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