The donation to Didcot Rugby Club has allowed the team to host more sessions for a wider range of the community, across all ages, genders and abilities, following 18 months of disruption to the club’s sporting calendar.
Reliant on financial and volunteer support from the community, the funding forms part of Legal & General Homes’ help for local organisations, which has allowed the club’s coaches to offer more versions of the game.
The local community can now sign up for, and enjoy: contact games, non-contact social rugby, and walking rugby. The walking rugby games - which are newly-launched this year - have become particularly popular with older members; offering social contact after long periods of isolation over successive lockdowns.
Martin Moran, Didcot Rugby’s Club Director, said the donation from Legal & General Homes didn't only support the club in bouncing back after their games were put on hold, but has also helped a more diverse range of the town’s community get back into sport.
Martin said: “Didcot Rugby club is a community club run by volunteers, and as such, we’re dependent on volunteers and funding through sponsorship, which is why we’re delighted with the ongoing support from Legal & General Homes.
“The funds were put towards the rental of our facility, as well as ensuring we have the right qualified coaching team available to support and train the club’s members.
“Sport isn’t just important for the physical and mental wellbeing of those taking part, but it’s also intrinsic to the fabric of what ties communities together. I'm delighted to say that we’ve actually come back bigger and stronger after lockdowns and our headcount has grown quite significantly - we had 120 kids pre-pandemic, up to 200 today.
“Thanks to Legal & General Homes’ support, we’ve had a good deal of feedback from parents saying they’re delighted to see their kids out of the house, off computer games, getting active and enjoying the outside with their friends. The same could be said for our older walking rugby players – who've been keen to get out and about, undertaking activities with their friends they might not have seen for months.”
Neil Simpson, Sales and Marketing Director at Legal & General Homes, said: “The last 18 months have been particularly hard for community clubs, but it’s been particularly trying for those of us who love contact sports, with many groups seeing restrictions on playing, compounded with reduced funding.
“As we’re building the Nobel Park Development, which is nearby and sits just to the outside of the club’s ground, we felt the sponsorship really aligned with our long-term strategy of supporting the community in the local area.
“This is just one example of how we are striving to make a positive and lasting contribution to the communities in which we build. We know that this donation will mean a great deal to the Martin and the club, and we can’t wait to follow their progress and see how the donations will make a real difference to local people.”
For more information on the Nobel Park development or to find out more about Legal & General Homes, please visit: https://www.landghomes.com/find-a-home/south-east-england/oxfordshire/nobel-park-didcot