Rugby club in scrum for £200,000 cash prize

A rugby club, feted for its coaching for youngsters, could be in line for a stupendous £200,000 cash boost.

Saturday, 11th November 2017, 8:30 am
Updated Monday, 11th December 2017, 11:05 pm
Colne and Nelson Rugby Club in action against Burnley

Colne and Nelson Rugby Club could be among just 30 shortlisted nationally for the cash that could change the fortunes of the thriving club that is celebrating its 90th year.

Chairman Chris Buck said: “If we were lucky enough to scoop this £200,000 cash prize it would be life changing, not just for the club but for the community also.”

The money is up for grabs from housebuilder Persimmon Homes Lancashire as part of its Healthy Communities campaign.

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A shortlist of 30 sporting organisations, clubs and individuals will be created for a national final to be decided on a public vote, with the winner receiving £200,000 to create a long-lasting legacy and two runners-up receiving £50,000 each.

Earlier this year Colne and Nelson Rugby Club received £750 as part of the scheme which went towards buying new kit for the 180 players in its teams.

If the club, which is based at Holt House in Colne, was lucky enough to win the big cash prize the money could fund refurbishment of the pitches which have not had major work done for several years.

The volunteer-led rugby club offers the opportunity for local children to participate in a team game as well as providing them with invaluable life skills in a fun environment.

Chris added: “We are extremely grateful to receive this funding from Persimmon Homes.

“Our club is run entirely by volunteers who give up their free time selflessly to help young people to stay fit and active through sport.

“It’s fantastic that a large company like Persimmon uses its success to support the community in such a positive way.”

Over the next year Persimmon will give away more than £600,000 to sporting causes across the UK.The new £200,000 fund is in addition to the £720,000 the company already donates through its Community Champions scheme each year.

Diane Finch, sales and marketing director for Persimmon, said:“It’s terrific to be able to support sports clubs and charities across Lancashire with tens of thousands of pounds every year.

“Colne and Nelson Club provide exceptional coaching and facilities for local children, and we hope that this money will go a long way in helping them.”

Over the last few years the rugby club has received donations from a variety of bodies to improve facilities at the ground.

The changing rooms and bar area have been updated thanks to a grant from Sport England and plans are on the cards to create a welcoming cafe for visitors who come to watch games at Holt House

The shortlist of the final 30 organisations who will be eligible for the big cash prize will be drawn up soon and voting will begin in January.