Clon new facilities set for grand opening

by Gazette Reporter
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CLONDALKIN rugby club are set to open their new facilities this Saturday after funding the development with the help of a €200,000 sports capital grant.
New developments to the clubhouse include two additional changing rooms with new shower facilities, which the club hope will help with the more comfortable hosting of their women’s team, as well as substantial improvements to the gym facilities and floodlights over the club’s second pitch. The revamped clubhouse will be opened with the help of Minister Frances Fitzgerald, who assisted the club in the funding application process, as well as the Leinster Branch President, ahead of the first team’s game against Gorey on November 28. The launch will take place at midday, with the game – in the Leinster League Division 1A – set to follow at 2.30pm.
“The committee have been working on the new facilities for 18 months, with the build taking place over the last four or five months,” Club President Winston Jebb told GazetteSport.
“There’s a lot of work that needs to be done ahead of receiving funding,” Jebb explains.
“The National Lottery funds 70% of projects like this, so the club will be undertaking major fundraising drives in the coming years. We’ve taken out a loan from the IRFU for the other 30%, and we’ll be launching a ‘buy a brick’ campaign to assist with the payments.”
The second pitch floodlights already saw their first competitive action, with Clondalkin Women facing Mullingar last Friday.
Jebb focuses largely on the practical benefits of the development: more access to gym facilities, and electric showers that prevent teams that play second from coming into the clubhouse to find all the hot water’s been used. “It’s about comfort,” he explains, outlining future plans to develop floodlights over the main pitch to accompany the smaller, second pitch additions.
“The developed facilities are essential,” Jebb said. “There are very few junior clubs running four teams, but we are. We’ve had to have both our sides and visiting sides changing in car parks on busy days, and it costs €20-€30,000 a season just to keep the pitches drained and fertilized. We train on the pitches every week night and sometimes have three matches on a pitch on the same day. This will have a great knock-on effect.”

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