Save Weavering Warriors club house
Save Weavering Warriors club house
Weavering Warriors Rugby Football Club started life in 2003 as a 1 team club with no ground, no club house, we used a local council pitch and next-door leisure centre changing rooms, with a local pub (a 10 minute drive away) to have food and drinks after.In 2014 and in conjunction with Maidstone mayor Daniel Moriarty Weavering Warriors RFC moved into Park Wood, taking over an unused set of changing rooms attached to the Royal British Legion Pavilion Building which we could use for drinks and food. The club put in a lot of work to bring the changing rooms up to the specified standard, as well as making modifications to an existing garage storage space, and the outside which was heavily overgrown. This (so we thought) was the start of Weavering Warriors having a permanent home.
In 2019 the Royal British Legion took the decision that they were to close and Weavering Warriors took over the Pavilion building on a short term lease, again extensive internal renovation works were undertaken to make the whole place look and feel like home.
Weavering Warriors were under no illusion that this was to be a short lease and that Maidstone Borough Council’s intentions would be demolishing their club house to build houses and that Heather House (a nearby facility) would also be demolished to make way for a new community hub and that Weavering Warriors would be included in these plans so that club, easily the main stakeholder of the new building could be included.
Unfortunately, Weavering Warriors were only informed of the new build proposal in the local paper. Not only were Weavering Warriors not included fully in those plans but the new build plans were not suitable for a rugby club let alone one that is growing as fast Weavering Warriors!
It is fair to say that Weavering Warriors move to Park Wood has been a resounding success. We are growing at a rate that very few other rugby clubs in the country are. From the 1 team that moved to Park Wood in 2014, and with the addition and collaboration of Invicta Panthers Rugby League Club and the Park Wood Branch of Junior Park Run, we boast in excess of 300 members using the pavilion building each week, which include, 2 senior rugby union teams, a vets rugby union team, a senior rugby league team, 3 junior rugby league teams and the Park Wood Junior Park Run. A plan to introduce two junior rugby union teams started at the beginning of 2020, but unfortunately Covid-19 put a stop to that. This will of course happen when we are able to.
Grassroots sports clubs play an important part in local communities and they will do so even more since communities have been locked down for nearly a year. Mental health awareness is at an all time high, and having access to a rugby club would go a long way to helping members of the local community, rugby is all inclusive so whether they want to play or support they became part of the rugby family and gain a massive support network for themselves.
Weavering Warriors, together with Invicta Panthers and Junior Park run need Maidstone Borough Council to understand the positive impact that our clubs have on the local community. From our point of view as a rugby club, we follow the RFU's values, Teamwork, Respect, Enjoyment, Discipline and Sportsmanship. The more of the local community that join and become part of the rugby family will have these values instilled in them and this can only have a positive impact on the local community as a whole.
The needs of the local community have dramatically changed in the last 5 years since that plan to create a community hub were first brought to the table. We ask Maidstone Borough Council halt the progression of the current plans for demolishing the pavilion building while consideration is given to the current needs of the community including us and other sports clubs. We do not see the need for a building that is structurally sound, that meets the needs of the 3 clubs that use it (including their expansion and future growth), to be demolished and for us to be rehoused to a facility that has less facilities than we currently have that does not allow us to grow in the local community as we have been for the last 7 years. We would be more than happy to open our doors to other community groups and organisations also. We are all inclusive. We are a family