Rugby Club Issue 72 - Page 31

Isle of wight doubled the bar takings from the previous year . This direct and financial benefit of improving the social space will help finance other improvements to the club , both on and off the pitch .
This season saw the completion of an extension of the clubhouse , housing two new changing rooms , toilets and showers . This represents a significant project for the club , and was only possible thanks to the hard work of a number of club members , a Sport England grant and a Rugby Football Foundation loan . The new changing rooms will enable the club to host male , female or age-grade matches simultaneously , which is a significant improvement for the club and what it can offer .
Work has also begun on renovating the men ’ s toilets , to provide facilities that match the high quality of the bar and social space . Improvements such as these will make the clubhouse a more attractive place to hire out , and therefore increase revenue .
Over the next twelve to eighteen months the committee will be working hard to bring about further improvements , particularly by providing a footpath from the car park to the clubhouse . This will improve access for all , particularly when the weather and ground conditions are poor .
The flat roof of the original clubhouse is now forty years old and needs replacing . This needs to happen before further internal improvements are made .
The Hampshire leagues will be restructured after the 2017 / 18 season , with the final league table determining which new league we will be in . To test ourselves against the best possible opposition , we are targeting a top six finish , which will place us in the higher league in the restructure .
Off the pitch chairman , Ollie Boulter is keen to expand the volunteer base , saying “ We always seem to have the same old faces turn up to give a hand . They are great , but to keep going into the future , and if we want to think about growing as a club , we ’ ve got to increase the number of volunteers .”
The club will be entering the 2017 / 18 season with a new 1st XV skipper , following Dan Stirrup moving up to the role of club captain . Fly-half Lewis Murray will take over the captain duties , and will be supported by Head Coach Dave Metcalfe ’ s extended coaching team .
A key element of the club ’ s development plan is to grow women ’ s rugby on the Isle of Wight , which they believe is the only county in the country not to have a senior women ’ s rugby team . This has resulted in working in partnership with the RFU to establish a women ’ s team on the Island . The early signs have been very encouraging with great numbers attending touch sessions . We were also selected to host an RFU Inner Warrior camp in May , which helped to raise the profile of the women ’ s game on the Island .
With the women ’ s rugby world cup coming up , the club , along with the RFU ’ s community rugby coach Josh Barlow , are working hard to capture the interest on the island and translate it into a sustainable set up .
The future of the Isle of Wight Rugby Club , both on and off the pitch , is looking positive .
www . rugbyclubmag . com 31
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