Last week Henley RFC took part in NatWest RugbyForce 2020 to carry out improvements and repairs to the club facilities to ensure they were ready for the start of rugby, now that clubs have been greenlit by the Department of Digital, Culture, media and Sport (DCMS) to play Ready4Rugby, an adapted non-contact game and O2 Touch.

This year, with NatWest RugbyForce Weekend postponed in June due to the pandemic, volunteers at Henley RFC were called upon to pitch in and roll up their sleeves to help with upgrades at the club. Improvements included;

  • Repairing the footpath from the Marlow Road to the Regatta pitches
  • Repairing the fencing adjacent to the Regatta pitches
  • Removing all the debris left by the recent storm and wet weather
  • Pitch surface damage
  • Cleaning, repair of post protector ready for use
  • Post Invesco Turf tidy-up to ensure safe environment for users

Extra planning was required to ensure the activity took place safely, following the Government Coronavirus guidelines at all times.

Henley RFC's Director of Rugby Administration, Aubrey Doran commented, 'We were delighted with the turn out and the progress that was made, but also incredibly grateful for the volunteers donating their time to the Club to help us get the facilities ready for the return of rugby'. 

In its twelfth year, NatWest RugbyForce is a nationwide programme developed with England Rugby which provides an opportunity for rugby clubs to open their doors to their local communities, team members and volunteers to help make valuable improvements to their clubs.

This year, NatWest have offered more help to support the rugby community than ever before, providing an opportunity for a record number of clubs to get involved in the programme, with grants ranging from £500 to £3000 awarded to clubs to help renovate facilities.

A huge thanks to the voluntary workforce who attended Dry Leas during last week and especially with the main activities on Friday 4 September. 

The above work greatly helped in making additional facilities available for use over the weekend of 5, 6 September by the Kids First & Junior Section and Henley Hawks Women and subsequently as we undertake RFU Return to Rugby – Stage D and further stages going forward in a safe Covid-19 secure way.

The club work like to thank Thames View Tyres who very kindly came to the rescue and repaired the puncture on the club buggy to ensure the activities could be completed in time.

To stay up to date with NatWest’s rugby activity, follow @NatWestRugby on Twitter.

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About Ready4Rugby

The RFU is pleased to announce that the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (‘DCMS’) has given the greenlight for community rugby to move to Stage D on the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap and play Ready4Rugby and O2 Touch. Due to the increased risk of transmission of Covid-19 involved in playing full-contact rugby, full XV a-side rugby cannot be played until further notice.