OLD Plymothian & Mannamedian Rugby Club have created a new ‘clubhouse’ at their King George V Playing Fields, which they opened at the weekend.
Sara Raine of Devon RFU was in attendance and wrote… (pictures by Sara Raine)
The Devon One have totally renovated the changing pavilion at their Elburton home.
Among the changes were turning two old dressing rooms into a large, bright social area with club photographs around and male and female toilets, plus a modern kitchen. They have also improved the other changing rooms and made a new referees’ dressing room.
The redevelopment has been done primarily for use for their juniors, although the senior team did use it on Saturday for the visit of North Tawton.
It does mean junior teams will be able to enjoy after-match food at the venue, while parents will be able to enjoy a drink or breakfast while their children train or play on a Sunday morning.
“We have primarily done it for the juniors,” said club chairman Matt Glastonbury.
“We want to have more of a club feel. Teams were travelling down but they had nowhere to congregate.
“We are hoping that it will really help promote the juniors and give a real rugby club atmosphere for teams coming down.
“We have got a new catering manager and it is a venue that we’ll be able to use for lots of other things.
“This weekend went very successfully. All the parents were very pleased with it. It means they don’t have to stand in the rain now. Their feedback was that they wanted somewhere to go – and that’s what we have provided.
“There’s a small area at the front where we are going to be putting table and chairs out so that if it is nice weather the parents have an nice vantage point, but also when it is horrible they can go in where it is warm and have tea or coffee and a bacon bap.
“This shows that we are moving on. It is pretty much the start of our grand plan.
“We have got under-14s now and in a couple of years’ time we’ll have under-16s in the Fisherman’s Cup and then it will be colts so we need to be ready.
“Our focus for the last couple of years has been on the juniors and this proves that we are really serious about them. Hopefully, it will help us attract even more young people.”
He added: “But it is not only the changing rooms and social area that have been redeveloped, we’ve done a new referees’ room as well. The whole place has been redeveloped to a point now where we feel it is sustainable. Like I said, we do have some other plans for the future, but we’ll start with this.”
The club’s two senior teams normally go back to the OPM Club at Plymouth College after games, but some sides from outside the area do not always want to make the trip there afterwards. Now the club can offer an alternative. They did get a temporary licence to serve drinks for last Saturday’s game against North Tawton.
“We still go back to the OPM Club and we will continue to do that this season,” said Glastonbury. “The college really support us.
“But teams like North Tawton, Buckfastleigh, South Molton don’t always necessarily want to travel back into Plymouth.
In the long-term we would like something there every Saturday and Sunday. At the moment we’ll do something there on occasional Saturdays, but it is mainly about the Sundays and making sure the juniors have a nice experience.
“If say Tavistock or another club bring all their teams down they can all have a dressing room and can go somewhere and have food afterwards.”
The revamped pavilion has six changing rooms, plus two breakout rooms, a new large social area with kitchen and toilets, a snug room, a referees’ room and an outdoor area at the front of the building.