Severe flooding 'disaster' prompts appeal to keep Rugby club for young people afloat

“We must now use this flooding disaster as a catalyst to get us building a new gym”

Severe flooding has hit a vital club for young people in Rugby.

The Bradby Club, in East Union Street, ended up a foot under water after torrential rain last month.

Alison Ross, Trustee of the Bradby Club and Acting Fundraising Chair, said: “Whatever happens we must now use this flooding disaster as a catalyst to get us concentrating on the building of a new gym, which is vital for the Rugby community.

"It has flooded over the years but not to the extent of the current problem - six floods in two days is excessive by any standards. I gather it comes through the walls.

"We’ve had people in digging little trenches to try and soak and divert any flow.”

Bradby Club has been providing an invaluable service to the youth of the town for more than 105 years, and, consequently, to the wider community.

Of today’s population in Rugby, it has been estimated that more than fifty per cent have made use of that service at some time in their lives, either as drop-in users or fully participating members.

Relying solely on fundraising and voluntary contributions, the club has developed and financed programmes designed to engage the minds and energy of young people, providing them with self-motivation and alternatives to anti-social behaviour.

Alison added: “Between 40 and 50 people use this facility evey day and whilst keeping people fit it also instils discipline. The coaches we have give freely of their time and expertise and we have boxers and kick boxers taking part in local, regional and national competitions and winning cups and trophies.

"This sense of achievement encourages all of them to progress to even greater heights. This new gym is a vital part of Bradby and as such also an important part of the Rugby community.

"All we need now is money and sponsorship.”

Over the years, the work of the club has been recognised beyond Rugby. It even attracted the attention of Royalty when, in 2010, the Duke of Kent called in to offer his congratulations on their success.

This week, a Posse of High Sheriffs visited to catch up on the latest news and were shown flood damaged boxing gym.

Current High Sheriff, Sophie Hilleary was accompanied by former holders of the post, David Kelham and Lady Min Willoughby de Broke.

All three spoke highly of the contribution by the club towards crime prevention among the young and they made a special mention of the success of the boxing gym.

“The boxing gym has proved to be a key element in the running of the club,” said John Robertson, the Club Leader.

“It was set up in the ruins of a former garage some 40 years ago and has attracted the interest of many young people whohave been drawn to the noble art. Following the flooding, when the floor was a foot under water, the future of the boxing gym may be at risk.”

He said funds are badly needed to pay for interim planning work, even before any repairs or rebuilding work can start.

Can you help the Bradby Club? Telephone (01788) 544344. If you can help with a fundraising event and would like publicity, email [email protected]

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