Chichester Rugby Club’s president today makes a plea to the community: Help us put the club firmly on the national map
Gareth Webb is hoping to round off his term in office by seeing an expansion to the clubhouse that will make a huge difference to a club which is growing steadily and where the first XV are bidding to get into the national leagues for the first time in their history.
He told the Observer: “We have had a team within the club working hard on plans for significant improvements to our clubhouse facilities for the past three years.
“Our club has grown massively over the past ten years and we now face problems every week in being able to cater for and accommodate all the age groups in the manner we’d like to. We also lack disabled access, which is not acceptable to any of us.
“We gained planning permission last year for the two-storey extension and pitched roof which will provide an enlarged clubhouse with facilities that can cater for our number of young players.
“It will cost around £250,000 to complete all of the phases. The team have been working hard applying for grants and approaching local supportive businesses and to date we have been successful in raising more than £180,000.
“While this still leaves a way to go, I am confident that with the support and involvement of the local community, we will make the sum in time to start building on May 4 this year.
“There are a number of ways that you can get involved.
“We are looking for a ‘Magnificent Seven’ who will donate £20,000 each. The seven will have their names imaginatively incorporated into the new structure, where they will remain forever.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to become associated with what will become part of the fabric of the city. We have been very fortunate to have found three of these to date.
“We are looking for 50 ‘Superheroes’ who will donate £1,000 each and 10 ‘Superheroes Plus’ for £2,000 and over, who will have their names displayed on a ‘wall of honour’ to show your children and grandchildren as proof that when the youngsters of Chichester needed you, you were there. Only 12 spaces remain to make a big difference!
“We are looking for 200 ‘Absolute Bricks’ who will donate £200 each and have their name engraved on a brick that will be visible in one of the new areas - I promise not the toilets!
“This is an unusual yet ideal present for a loved one and will last longer than a DVD and be more meaningful in the years ahead than socks, pants or Old Spice talc! These are going fast.
“The construction could also be supported through the offer of free time, services or materials needed for the project. I sincerely believe this could reduce the headline price of the project significantly and create a community project ethos on site.
“I am totally committed to the fact this will be a club for our community, for their children and future generations in Chichester. I am very excited at the opportunity to create something we can all look proudly at, knowing we were part of its creation. To date, I have been bowled over by the generosity of people giving in any way they can, including their time and skills.
“We have three months left to make this a reality and I’d ask any person who has had the great experience of having kids here, or has been a senior player who has now laid up their boots, to let me know how you can help and be part of creating this legacy.”
Webb can be contacted at Gareth.email@example.com or on 07801 477806 if anyone wants to chat about it or find out more.
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He added: “You all know the commitment and magic our young players create each Sunday – let’s give them a clubhouse that reflects those standards and gives them a greater opportunity to relax together, eat after matches and enjoy each other’s company.
“Let’s show everyone what a wonderful city community we are, with a sport which teaches our kids the importance of teamwork, fun and respect.”