Rugby club to unveil new £51,000 floodlights

PUBLISHED: 14:31 07 March 2018 | UPDATED: 14:32 07 March 2018

Air Cadet touch rugby being played at Diss Rugby Club. Picture: SONYA DUNCAN

Air Cadet touch rugby being played at Diss Rugby Club. Picture: SONYA DUNCAN

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2016

A rugby club at the heart of its community is to unveil the latest stage of its ongoing transformation with a £51,000 set of new floodlights.

Youth rugby at Diss Rugby Club. Picture: SONYA DUNCANYouth rugby at Diss Rugby Club. Picture: SONYA DUNCAN

Diss Rugby Club has been steadily improving its Mackenders ground in Bellthorpe Lane, Roydon over the past six or seven years, which included a complete refurbishment of its clubhouse in 2011/12 and new changing rooms in 2015.

It also refurbished its gymnasium in the same year but has long wanted new floodlights to enable it to hold games and training activities for young and old alike.

A £25,000 grant from the Rugby Football Union (RFU) helped the historic club realise its dream, with six new 125ft poles with floodlights being put up earlier this year.

The new lights make it a doubly special time for the club, as it is also celebrating its 60th anniversary this year.

It was also promoted to the London 1 North league last season.

Treasurer Brian Bale said even for those who are not hardened rugby players, it is a great place for people in the town to meet, socialise and make business contacts.

“Our ambition is to continue to grow the club in terms of membership, standard of rugby played and continual improvement of facilities,” he said.

“It’s all part of a continuing development of the club.

“We don’t struggle to find members and we have several hundred people who have joined.”

Facilities are available to use for members and others outside of match and practice times, with events and parties regularly held at the venue.

Its next goal is to try and extend the car parking available, so that more people can use the facilities and watch games throughout the season.

The club prides itself on bringing young people into the game and often sends coaches in to teach touch rugby where schools are unable to run classes themselves.

“We’d like to think it improves youngsters’ social skills and their health and fitness, as well as their team-building skills and adding to their social network,” said Mr Bale.

The club will marks its 60th anniversary later this year with a major fundraising ball at Mackenders on May 19.

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