A PRESIDENT’S day on Saturday marked the launch of a major fundraising campaign for Oakham Rugby Club.
The club is working with Rutland Agricultural Society to move to a new ground during the 2013/2014 season and needs to raise £50,000 for a new clubhouse at the site.
During its annual president’s day, which was held at the club’s current home at the showground in Barleythorpe Road, sketch plans of the proposed clubhouse were on show.
Oakham Rugby Club president Chris Wood said the amount raised from the day was still being counted. It will be split between the clubhouse appeal and the Army Benovelent Fund.
Mr Wood said: “Saturday was the commencement of our fundraising but the president’s day wasn’t a major fundraiser in itself.
“It was mainly a celebration of the end of the season and it was a good day.”
The club is hoping to include improved facilities at the new clubhouse, including changing rooms and a bar.
It is moving from its current home, which is owned by Rutland Agricultural Society, because it is part of the area where developer Hawksmead is planning to build 1,100 homes in its Oakham North development.
Rutland Agricultural Society will also own the new site, which is on land near the bypass, and the society’s annual Rutland County Show will be held there. The event became too large for the current showground and moved to Burley-on-the-Hill.
During the president’s day more than 100 players from six age groups in the mini sections of the club received their end of season certificates and medals, watched by proud parents.
Mr Wood paid tribute to coaches from the mini sections. He said: “They do a terrific job introducing these youngsters to the sport of rugby and helping them progress during the year.”
There was a barbecue lunch, followed by a match between the President’s XV, made up of senior Oakham Rugby Club players, and an Army XV, made up of players from 16 Regiment Royal Artillery based at St George’s Barracks in North Luffenham. The game was won by Oakham by 31 to 24 and watched by more than 100 vice-presidents and supporters.
Mr Wood said: “It was a very entertaining match and overall it was a good day.”
Mr Wood thanked the organisers of the event Paul Beech and Richard Morris, from Oakham Rugby Club, and Major Tim Osman, from St George’s Barracks.