The roots of Ampthill & District Community Rugby Club can be traced back to 1881! We have teams for every age group, and players from 6 to 60+ compete in our famous Maroon & Gold colours every weekend from September to April! Our Mini & Youth Section started in 1971 and is referred to as Ampthill’s “Jewel in the Crown” – offering the opportunity to play rugby to boys age 6-16 accelerated the membership numbers of the club to where they are today!
Fuelled by the success of the Red Roses on the International Stage, the inclusion of Womens Rugby 7’s at the Commonwealth Games and investment in female participation, Women’s Rugby is the fastest growing area of our sport – and one of the fastest growing female sports in England! Ampthill now regularly have 25 ladies at training on a Friday night or Sunday afternoon!
This summer we ran our “ROAR – Introduction to Rugby Camp for Girls”. The camps were free to attend and thanks to the support of our coaches and some elite players we attracted over 100 girls to attend, further boosting our numbers for the coming season in our U12, U14, U16, and U18 girls squads! Who knows what our girl’s membership numbers could be in 2 or 3 seasons’ time?
Last season saw our U18s (clustered with Towcester) go unbeaten in the Bucks Invitational League securing a league and cup double! The league campaign saw our girls scoring 268 points whilst only conceding 14.
We had 6players selected to represent East Midlands at U16 and U18 this year, with one girl going on to be selected for the U18 Loughborough Lightning Centre of Excellence Squad.
For the 2022/23 season, our ladies, U18s, U16s and U14s will all be competing in league competitions resulting in other ladies and girls teams regularly visiting our Dillingham Park ground!
Ampthill & District Rugby Club has an ethos of “Rugby for All”. We are inclusive as a club – our membership range from 6 years to 90+, male and female and anybody is free to join. More than that we want our facilities to be the best available for the local community.
Other Sports organisations including the Metropolitan and Bedfordshire Police Services, other sports clubs, local fitness businesses, and schools regularly request the hire of the club as a base for other outdoor activities. The lack of segregated changing and showering facilities prevents some of these groups from using either the club or providing mixed-sex sessions to their members and students. East Midlands Rugby Union have also used the club for their men and women’s team training!
We want to be able to provide the best facilities for all local athletes to achieve their potential!
Why are we crowdfunding?
In February 2022, Ampthill & District Community Rugby Club was successful in applying for s106 Local Authority Grant Scheme award to assist us with improving the infrastructure of the Club to include “Additional Changing and Showering Facilities” for the use of the Ladies and Girls sections of the club. The provision of this would allow our Ladies and Girls teams to train or play matches at the same time as the men or boys. The Ladies and Girls currently arrange sessions at times when no male teams are training or playing and as a result feel segregated in the club – in conflict with our Rugby for All and One Club ethos!
The rapid rise in the number of Ladies and Girls wishing to join the club and participate in playing rugby leads us to prioritize this project. s106 funding covers 60% of the project costs, the club and its membership need to fund the rest. As has been widely publicised, Covid-19 had an enormous impact on clubs like Ampthill. Enforced closure, cancellation of social events, and inability to generate revenues outside of membership subscriptions have impacted on the club’s retained profits to fund these projects. We are therefore requesting the support of our local community to assist us to complete this project before the end of 2022!
The above diagram shows the area of the club including the current tractor shed that will be reconfigured to incorporate the ladies and girls changing rooms and showers in addition to offices and gym.
How we’ll spend the money raised
We are hoping to raise £10’000 through this crowdfunder. If this is matched by Sport England this will cover the entire costs of the project to build Ladies’ and Girls’ specific Changing Rooms and Showers (in addition to the s106 money)!
How you can play your part
There are four simple ways to help us reach our target, and make this project a reality.
1. Make a pledge and claim your reward. Don’t delay if you’re going to support us because momentum is key to our success!
2. Spread the word. Share our project on your social media pages and tell the world to get behind us! The more people we reach, the more support we will get.
3. Offer rewards yourself? Get involved if you are a local business by donating things we can offer to our supporters. We will give you a shout-out on our social media channels with over 15’000 followers!
4. Create a fundraiser of your own. Use the button on our page to get started. Setting up your own page only takes a few minutes and you won’t need any bank details. Just a fun idea!