Better Facilities award 2007/08
Barnsley RFC (Yorkshire)
Brian Johnson, Honorary Secretary of Barnsley RFC, says: "We purchased Shaw Lane 10 years ago; it was a run down site that was used as a dog's toilet, a motor bike track and a good place to burn out cars, as well as being covered in graffiti.
"Without help from anyone for the first five years, we fenced the site off, built a new clubhouse and turned a swamp into a first team pitch. We have helped develop Barnsley area's sports policy and are now at the centre of sports development in Barnsley.
"We have further developed the site with help from the RFU by developing waste land into a well used 3rd Generation all weather pitch. During the day, schools use the facility and after school the AWP is in constant use by all sports every day until 10.00pm. It is used for sports camps during school holidays.
"We have improved the car parking by turning further waste land into a car park of over 100 spaces. The regeneration of the site helped the local cricket club with a successful bid for all weather nets along with two grass nets. We have recently completed our Boundary Walk that circles the site. We have already installed a mini trim trail and are planting to attract wildlife. The walk is used by all ages to keep fit and enjoy the flora and fauna.
"These developments have enabled the Harriers to form a Youth section. The Squash club has built a fifth court and we have just turned more wasteland, with the help of a Biffaward, into two Youth pitches. Since opening our clubhouse in 2000, there has been a massive increase in the use of the site, especially by Under 16s.
"We have quickly outgrown the facilities and have submitted bids for further improvements that will provide a further 12 changing rooms. We have turned a run down, poorly used facility into a first class sports facility."