Rugby Union in Cheshire has received a huge boost with the award of a �21,000 sponsorship package involving brewers Daniel Thwaites and the government's Sportsmatch scheme.
The new money will be directed towards Community Club Development and provides the Cheshire Rugby Football Union with a particularly welcome injection of funding at a time when many new initiatives are being brought forward to the county for financial help.
"We are already indebted to Thwaites for their existing support and we have a very strong working relationship with them," says Cheshire RFU Treasurer Bryan Davies. "This additional backing is doubly beneficial thanks to the fact that we have been able to dovetail it with a Sportsmatch award, which, as the name implies, matches pound for pound any sponsorship funding we are able to obtain from the private sector.
"The development of grass-roots, community rugby is higher on the agenda of the Rugby Football Union these days than it has ever been. While that means that more resources are being directed into this area, we need all the funding we can get to ensure that more people of all ages are catered for and attracted into the game.
"All of which makes this kind of backing so valuable and so much appreciated by everyone in the game in Cheshire."
Robin Hodkinson from Sportsmatch said: "We are delighted to be supporting the Cheshire RFU alongside Thwaites. This initiative looks to overcome the issue of losing adult players from the sport by providing the club with the necessary tools to recruit and retain over 18 years olds. Over 400 players and 80 coaches will benefit from the scheme."
Christine Robinson, Thwaites Marketing Executive, said: "Daniel Thwaites has a firm commitment to helping sports at all levels, including grass roots sponsorship, and we are delighted to have helped Cheshire RFU gain this award. This money will be invested in the development of the county and its players, and will open up opportunities that were not an option in the past."
The award rounds off a very positive year for Cheshire in terms of facility development, the most recent projects involving the installation of floodlights at Chester and The Gentlemen of Moore clubs, which involved grants totalling over �81,000 from the RFU Community Club Development Programme.