Royal Wootton Bassett Rugby Club looks forward to weekend of celebrations
10:21am Friday 6th September 2013 in Latest News
It's party time in Royal Wootton Bassett this weekend as the rugby club marks the opening of its £1.3m clubhouse with a three-day celebration.
The weekend of events will also raise money for charities BLESMA (British Limbless Ex-Service Men's Association) and the Wooden Spoon, as well as paying tribute to the UK’s servicemen and women.
Vice chairman Jim Brierley is looking forward to the celebrations.
He said: “The day will celebrate all that we have worked for. An incredible amount of hard work has gone into the new facilities. It will be a great celebration, for the teams and for the community as well. It’s a huge opportunity for the community.
“It’s also a huge opportunity to raise money for our charities we’re supporting, BLESMA and the Wooden Spoon. We’ll raise a lot of money and also raise the profile of the club.”
The long-awaited grand opening will kick off tonight with a black-tie dinner with special guests, the rugby legends Mike Lewis, John Devereux and David Trick.
There will also be a special a performance from the Wessex Male Voice Choir to mark the achievement of the club and town in creating the new sporting venue.
“The new facilities are absolutely fantastic ,“ said Mr Brierley. “We agonised over how it would look and worked hard to find a good design that we wanted and hopefully it will help us to achieve what we want.
“Now we have great new facilities it would be better if we can play to a better standard and it will be great to get more players involved. But really it’s a community club and it’s very proud.”
Tomorrow the celebrations begin at 11am with a parade through the High Street led by a marching band, which will make its way to Ballards Ash where, following an opening fanfare, a very special guest will be cutting a ribbon to make the official opening.
This will be followed by a performance by a Welsh male voice choir. Visitors will then be able to enjoy military fly-past, fairground rides and live music as well as a classic car display, a display of various fire engines as well as other attractions.
Later in the afternoon, before the ground is christened with two matches, a team of parachutists will deliver a match ball to the ground from the skies in time for the match of the day between the Royal Wootton Bassett RFC Presidents XV and a team of Army veterans at 3.15pm.
The day will be rounded off with a disco and a fireworks display.
The Sunday events begin at 10am with a Mini and Junior and Community Day Event where youngsters will have a training session before taking part in a touch-rugby tournament.
Former world-cup rugby legend Lewis Moody will be among the guests and visitors can enjoy live music and barbecue lunch before an under 16 match in the afternoon.
Visitors will also enjoy a range of attractions, including a classic car display, a flypast and plenty more fairground activities.
Over the weekend there will also be an auction of a special rugby shirt signed by 16 rugby legends.
Money raised from the auction will go towards raising funds for youngsters and their families, helped by renowned rugby charity, Wiltshire Wooden Spoon.
The shirt, worth about £1,500, carries the signatures of some of the most famous British and Irish Lions, including Martin Johnson, Jeremy Guscott, Fran Cotton, Phil Bennett, Ian McGeechan, Keith Wood, JPR Williams, Gavin Hastings, Phil Bennett, Willie John McBride, Keith Wood, J J Williams, Finlay Calder, Gareth Edwards, Richard Hill, and Mike Teague.
The celebrations have all been made possible thanks to funding from the Royal Wootton Bassett Town Council, who awarded the club £5,000 from the Town Council’s Grant Aid funding and the Revenue & Resources Project Fund. Admission is £4 and under 16s go free. For more information visit: www.pitchero.com/clubs/woottonbassett.
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