The Groundsman

September 2014

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Page 27 of 59

IOG BEST PRACTICE 28 the Groundsman September 2014 Visit for more information and digital editions With an annual budget of £5,000 for pitch maintenance, John says the club's success at obtaining grant aid and loans over the past 10 years has been a major benefit to pitch improvement, including these substantial amounts: • £58,000 drainage work on the training pitches – including £48,000 from the Rugby Football Foundation and the balance coming from club funds and work- in-kind by volunteers – contractor Melvin Taylor from Turfdry installed the rectangular drains at 500/600 mm deep via 50 mm wide trenches; • £50,000 from Sport England for replacement floodlights; • £82,000 loan from Rugby Football Foundation for STRI survey and report, groundscare equipment, a storage shed and additional drainage work. This rapidly followed John taking on pitch maintenance: "The club then had the right equipment, but we needed someone to use it properly and to explore the science of sports turf care. Rugby union in Aspatria Rugby union has a long history in Aspatria, with Aspatria RUFC being formed in 1875. Rugby league has a more chequered history; the town's team, which became defunct more than 10 years ago, is now being revived but does not have a ground of its own or a clubhouse and, like the local football teams, has to depend on the local park with a rudimentary and poorly maintained open field. Aspatria RUFC, on the other hand, also has a gymnasium and the clubhouse (soon to undergo a £30,000 modernisation scheme) is very much at the heart of the community being hired for all manner of events, including three days a week as a clinic by the Cumbria NHS Trust. The club has produced a host of notable players, including Joseph Blacklock, James and Joseph Davidson, David Graham, Robert Jackson Hanvey, Steve Hanley and Rob Miller (Sale Sharks/London Wasps). In addition, Thomas Holliday won seven England caps, was part of the 1924 British Lions tour and subsequently became a rugby league player for Oldham Roughyeds and the England team.

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