Future bright for Ashfield at new Larwood Park home

These are exciting times for Ashfield Rugby Club as a new season looms at their impressive new home of Kirkby’s Larwood Park.

Monday, 13th September 2021, 4:55 pm
Dave Owen (executive director & treasurer) Lee Anderson and Mark Rees (executive director & vice chairman).

Ashfield MP Lee Anderson paid them a visit last week on their annual Registration Day to see first hand how the club is shaping up and the path they are offering youngsters into senior rugby.

Executive member Paul Summerland said: “It was a very well attended event with over 200 kids thoroughly enjoying themselves out in the open air, chucking the ball around and having fun.

“Inside we promoted our new Pitchero website led by our webmaster Chris Foster.

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“We also displayed designs of the all-weather training pitches due for development next year, as well as the plans to create a wrap around balcony to improve the vista - thereby improving the experience of both home and away spectators.

“The club has grown organically with the amalgamation of The Ashfield Swans and All Spartans in 1997, and since then we’ve been a little nomadic - however now we are so proud of our new home.

“The unique facilities and the ethos of rugby at Ashfield RUFC help develop amazing life-long friendships and partnerships.

“Our extended family promote respect and a code of conduct which is unprecedented.

“Your child is well cared and catered for, with professionally qualified coaches and support staff, including our very own qualified physiotherapist.

“Also, Larwood Park also holds an amazing conference room that is currently hired out to weddings and other events. With a backdrop as amazing as ours, it is hard to find comparable conference centres that can also offer the high level of customer service and facilities that we do.”

First team captain Josh Heald said: “This is a very exciting time at Ashfield, seeing the young lads transition from Academy into senior rugby is a delight.

“We’re seeing some quality and gifted individuals coming through which will help bolster senior rugby in Ashfield for years to come. This is due to the infrastructure Brian Dobb (director of junior rugby) set up years ago.”

Last week's event ran in conjunction with The Ashfield RUFC Showcase through which they inform members, old and new, about the developments and progressive nature of Ashfield Rugby over the next few years.

Ashfield boast 11 junior and mini teams, two girls teams, one ladies team and three adult senior teams.

Larwood Park also host training sessions and matches for Portland Cricket Club and Mansfield Hockey Club.

With the all-weather pitches, they also aim to also attract football, netball and hockey too in becoming the best multi-functional sporting arena in the area.

Summerland added: “The executive and general committee members have ‘the child’ centric to everything we do.

“This includes very clear guidelines and pathways for the coaches to develop talent, so that the children are visible and have access to the national rugby stage.

“Our coaching team align to player and programme development - we have one of the most experienced coaching networks in the area, with many players who have attained county status. This is a testament to the level of commitment and dedication demonstrated within the club.”

He added: We’ve been approached by numerous businesses for shirt, team and club sponsorships, so therefore we have created many packages available that meets most budgets.

“Ashfield RUFC is also a registered charity and have signed up to Gift Aid, meaning every penny donated is put to good use.

“Our members are all very proud of our rugby tradition, and believe we now have a home and structure that will future proof the rugby game in Ashfield for years to come.

“We welcome new players, members, coaches and volunteers with open arms, in order to promote, mould and support the growth of our amazing club.”