The Lower Paddock where we train has some disadvantages so the current and previous committee have been working on getting Floodlights on the Park. This will be a fantastic advance for the club, we'll be able to train on a surface that will be much flatter and drier during the winter, it will be closer to the clubhouse and we'll have access to the showers there. It’s also somewhat of a necessity as the Farm have requested that the men do not train on the Paddock from now on as its damaging the surface for other Farm users. The women and Youth can continue to use the Paddock. Tower Hamlets have already approved training on the Park but obviously we'd need lights during the winter.
As with many things worth doing, getting training under flood lights is not without its challenges. The first is that Tower Hamlets have raised the need for planning permission. This is a known requirement for large scale permanent installations of the type needed for games. Such installations are very expensive and so we're going to go initially for mobile lights, one of the main reasons is so that we can move the lights around the park and hence save the ground from wearing in any one particular place. Normally planning permission is not required for these type of lights and I'm working with the Council on this.
The second major challenge is the funding of these lights which will cost approximately £10,000 for the quality and area coverage we would need. The RFU will match funds we raise so we need a way of raising money. Many clubs take part in the RFU Grand Draw as the RFU arrange the draw and the prizes, clubs get 90% of the funds raised. Our target will therefore be to raise £5,000
Players – The more tickets we sell, the better quality of lights that we will have for our training.
We have a small sub-committee working on this already. If you feel you could help us, please get in contact with me, Andrea Bielska, GG Paling or Gareth Hargreaves or any of the club officers.
How you can Help
Though we are progressing well, there are many ways you can help move things along:
- Have you done this in a previous club or do you know another club that has got floodlights recently?
- Are you an engineer or otherwise technically capable to help source the correct lights? We need to choose between battery powered and diesel\patrol powered
- Have you experience in fund raising especially with connection to the Grand Draw? Are you willing to help co-ordinate and sell tickets?
- Do you know people on Tower Hamlets council especially in the Planning Department?
My Personal Objective
I’ve asked all of the new season’s committee to set objectives for their area and we’ll release these in due course. In the meantime, one of mine is to run at least two training sessions on the Park under flood lights by Christmas. I’ll come back to you with further details.
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