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Home > News > Keswick RFC heads above water
Your News Keswick RFC heads above water

WHEN the devastating floods of 2005 submerged a large part of Cumbria and consigned rugby union at Davidson Park, Keswick to a watery grave, the prospect of getting up-and-running again must have seemed a distant dream, even for the most optimistic Keswick RUFC members.

But with traditional tenacity and resolve, the club has come through the ordeal and by the new year, the full extent of a remarkable recovery will be in place for all to see - even at night!

The original flooding put the clubhouse out of commission for 18 months and with insurance provision not providing for full replacement, the club had to move into Emergency Mode. Terrific local support within the community, especially from Keswick School, and considerate treatment by neighbouring clubs enabled all phases of club life to continue, but the renaissance process was a long and trying journey for all concerned.

Hopes that a brand new clubhouse might be created from the flotsam and jetsam that was left when the water finally receded were unfulfilled, but eventually the facility was completely refurbished and attention switched to the pitches.

Extensive grant-aided drainage work has meant a weekly use of Keswick School pitches, but the time-table for a return to Davidson Park has early 2010 as the projected date.

But when 'normal service' is resumed, thanks to the further support of the Rugby Football Union and the Rugby Football Foundation, the club facilities will have been elevated to a new level by the addition of two new sets of floodlights which will provide match-quality illumination for the main pitch and also lighting for the second and training pitches.

The total cost of all the works is over 215,000. The RFF have invested over 132,000 to supplement monies drawn from other bodies and from club funds.

The transformation should be completed by early 2010. At that stage Keswick RUFC will emerge from one of the darkest periods in its history into a new, bright future in which the club will not only be able to cater admirably for the growing numbers of people wanting to take up the game, but also become a centre of rugby development for Cumbria, both in the men's and women's game.

Said Keswick Chairman Richard Atkinson: "The flooding of the pitch and clubhouse put us under enormous pressure as a club, but we came through that test thanks to the support of our members and friends within the community, especially Keswick Town Council & Keswick Lions

"Thanks to the tremendously generous support we have received from the RFU and the Rugby Football Foundation, we have managed not only to rescue the situation, but also to take the club forward. From where we were when the floods descended, to reach our current position is a massive boost for rugby in the town and the county."

The efforts of Keswick Rugby Club were recognised earlier this year by the RFU when they the were nominated the RFU President's National Runner Up Youth & Mini Rugby Club of the Year and the President's National Winner for Providing Better Facilities.

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