- Lead Up and Legacy boost for Wirral club
- Anselmians welcome new pitch maintenance kit
Anselmians RUFC from Eastham on the Wirral received a major boost this week when they took delivery of a ground maintenance package specially created by Keith Kent, Head Groundsman at Twickenham.
Working with expert industry partners, the man who manages England's home turf has devised a rugby club equipment package exclusively for RFU clubs which is specifically designed to meet their needs as they aim to deliver a high-quality pitch maintenance programme.
Included in the £20,000-plus package is an Iseki TM 3265 manual transmission tractor and a Sisis Quadraplay multi-purpose attachment that includes a mounted frame with four implements, which can be arranged in any order and can be lifted out of use when not required.
A single pass allows up to four operations to be carried out simultaneously, including surface aeration, sward cleansing, rolling and brushing and a Sisis Multitiner aerator for improving drainage and encouraging better root development.
Anselmians have received a grant of £10,000 from the RFU to become a Lead Up and Legacy Centre as the plans for England 2015 gather pace and provide clubs with a once in a generation opportunity to deliver the greatest participation legacy for the game when the nation hosts the Rugby World Cup.
The RFU has committed an additional £10m capital investment in more than 500 clubs nationwide under the Fund which will establish a network of Lead Up and Legacy Centres aimed at providing a platform for growth in club rugby participation and membership throughout England.
“The new equipment will improve the quality of the rugby experience for all users of the site providing more playing opportunities for local people aged 14-24. We also hope this will support the club’s financial sustainability leading into the Rugby World Cup.” said Club Secretary Trevor Petterson.
“I was pleased to hear from Tom Bartram, RFU Facilities Manager, that we had been given an RFU grant towards our pitch maintenance. We currently pay a contractor to have our pitches cut and seeded, but we thought if we could get a set of volunteers to do this and a bit more then it would save us money that could be re-invested in the club.
“Keith Kent came to visit our pitches and gave us some very sound advice and a plan to improve our playing surfaces using the new equipment.
“We have just had the pitch maintenance equipment delivered and our head groundsman Taff Jones has assembled a small band of volunteers whose job it will be to improve and maintain out playing surfaces. Our pitches have been in a poor condition for a number of years and we are determined to improve the quality of the playing surfaces so we can attract new players to the club and importantly keep the ones we currently have.
“Investing in the future is essential if we are to grow as a club. This opportunity has come through the RFU's Lead Up and Legacy programme and it was something we discussed as a club so we could seize that opportunity for our future growth.
“We have used our own money to supplement the RFU grant so we could get the best deal possible and also to pay for storage for the equipment.
“We are also working with Tom to see what can be developed with some land we have leased from Wirral Borough Council. Our aim is to develop playing areas and, of course, we hope the pitch maintenance equipment will support us in that aim.”
Anselmians have acquired land on a 99-year lease and have some funds that can be used in conjunction with RFU loans and grants so that they can realise their ambitions to attract even more young people from the surrounding community.
They have just appointed a commercial manager, part of whose job will be to publicise the club within the local community and local schools with a view to attracting more players.
Taff Jones said: “I’m delighted with the equipment and looking forward to the training programme so that we can make the most of the tackle. We know this will be hard work, but we are determined to save money so it can be invested in other areas of the club and we are equally determined to see more young players coming to this rugby club."