- Paralympian Clare points the way…
- … and Vale respond with new facilities
Photo: RFU Archive
The choice of Team GB Wheelchair Basketball player and four-time Paralympian Clare Strange to open the new facilities at Vale of Lune RFC for disabled members and guests could hardly have been more appropriate.
It was, after all, a visit by Clare, joint team captain at the London Paralympics and a competitor at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics, the 2004 games in Athens and Sydney in 2000, that first alerted the club to the shortfall in their Powderhouse Lane facilities.
Addressing the issue became a priority when former Vale player Dan Griffiths brought his fiancé-to-be Clare to the club’s summer ball last year and quickly flagged up the need to provide for visitors with disabilities.
The response from Vale officials, led by Secretary Andy Perry, was prompt, with an upgrade to the toilets and improved access becoming a priority as plans were quickly drawn up to make the club more user friendly.
Prior to cutting the ribbon Clare said she was delighted to be opening the facilities, which include a wide ramp at the main entrance to the clubhouse and a new toilet. Clare stressed the importance of making life easier for all disabled people and she congratulated Vale of Lune for doing just that.
President Nigel Armstrong paid a special tribute to all the volunteers who had worked on construction the ramp and installing the toilet. He said: “Everything was done in true Vale of Lune style and we owe a debt of gratitude to all those people who made it happen in their own time and at their own expense.”
Over the years the Vale has gained an enviable reputation as a venue for a wide range of events. The completion of this undertaking also identifies Vale of Lune RFC as a club that responds when the needs of visitors are identified.