Sport in the community

Funding level: £10,001 to £25,000

Submitted by: St James's Place


In 2010, my son Tom was invited by a friend to join Bowdon Rugby Club. Still new(ish) to the area and an average ex-player myself, we decided it might be a good idea. Little did I realize quite what I was getting our family into!

At the time Bowdon had a fledgling Minis and Junior section, the brain child of a the old club stalwarts, needless to say I was recruited as a coach within a couple of weeks.

Fast forward to 2016, and what a Rugby adventure we have had.

The M & J section now has 450 kids registered, 100 volunteer coaches and an army of Parents, Grandparents and dogs, who turn up weekly to watch their offspring achieve their own version of greatness.

In our time at Bowdon both of my boys (Joe too) have enjoyed success (and failure), sunshine, rain, snow, a bit of blood and more than a few tears. They have met their Rugby idols and held the real World Cup, which visited Bowdon in 2015. But more important than any of this, they have enjoyed friendship and fun.

Rugby is the focus of our activities, but isn’t the only opportunity the children get. They play friendlies, matches and Festivals around the NW. And they attend any number of social events linked to the Club, from Presentation Day and Summer Camp to the Mini’s Xmas Lunch with a special appearance from Santa (no shortage of Portly Volunteers for this job at a Rugby Club!).

And the experiences don’t stop there. We tour annually to such exotic places as Fylde and Solihul, giving 250 children the opportunity to strengthen their camaraderie, whilst learning sportsmanship and courage on the field, and keeping them fit and out of mischief off it.

We support kids of all ages, sizes and backgrounds, able bodied and disabled (my eldest suffers Erb’s Palsy) to be active, learn new skills and make new friends. And it’s our safe, welcoming environment that has helped my kids, and those of 100’s of other parents, grow and develop as better kids. Right now Bowdon plays a vital role in our community.

But, this is all under threat. Our Clay Lane club, is slap bang in the middle of the rain soaked North West.

With record rainfall over the last 3 years, our pitches are saturated, and whilst our kids love to roll around in the mud, there’s a point where playing, for the younger kids, just isn’t safe.

For 3 years, the younger age groups haven’t trained or played matches at our club. We have no artificial pitch and only the 1st team pitch suitably drained, our 140 6-9’s have had to travel to an artificial pitch 2 miles away.

This relocation is devastating.

Skipping over the verbal abuse from the disgruntled local footy team, the first thing we noticed is the children losing out on the sense of community that the club atmosphere delivers, they don’t feel part of the club as a whole. Parents will take the kids home rather than coming back to the club.

Of course space is limited but there is a financial loss too, about £4,500 a year.

Most upsetting for us as volunteers, is the number of children not continuing through the age groups. Since the mini’s have been forced to play away from the club, they simply don’t enjoy it as much.


We desperately need to implement a proper drainage system for a 92m x 55m pitch.

Costs include

Site establishment, locate and connect existing outfall drain
Install 100mm main drain and 80mm lateral drains @ 8m intervals
Seeding new drain line
Install sand slits @ 2m intervals
Extra lateral drains / sand slits over whole field
Spread root-zone in low areas
Spread drainage spoil in low areas

Implementation in summer 17, work completed in 3 weeks. Pitches unused for 3-6 months, but available in Dec 2017.


We caveat the proposal above. 2 of our parents, work in Plant and Construction. So, whilst we make no assumptions, our expectation is whilst £25,000 (£24,723.60 vat inc) allows us to drain the 2nd Team Pitch, volunteer goodwill stretches this to 2 Pitches!

Bowdon Rugby Union Football CLub

Location: Timperley

Over 100 parents give up their weekends for free for the club, allowing us the fantastic opportunity to deliver its benefits to 450 kids and 60 new children every year. Draining the pitches will continue the legacy of our fantastic club on its 125 year anniversary.
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