Cycle trio's 1,000-mile ride for rugby club

PUBLISHED: 19:52 27 August 2008 | UPDATED: 15:51 11 May 2010

READY FOR THE OFF: The Royston Rugby Club men are all set for their gruelling challenge.

READY FOR THE OFF: The Royston Rugby Club men are all set for their gruelling challenge.

IF the physical nature of rugby wasn t enough, three Royston players are set to take part in the gruelling Lands End to John O Groats bike ride - to help raise funds for the club s new changing block. Senior players Nick Alford, Jack Hilman, and Rob Turn

IF the physical nature of rugby wasn't enough, three Royston players are set to take part in the gruelling Lands End to John O'Groats bike ride - to help raise funds for the club's new changing block.

Senior players Nick Alford, Jack Hilman, and Rob Turner, will cover just under 1,000 miles, 100 miles per day, in order to help raise the £20,000 needed.

And with the RFU contributing a large amount of the cost, it is a total the three Crows are determined to meet.

Jack said: "The new changing rooms are being built at a cost of £120,000 and for the RFU to help us with the funding, the club has to raise £20,000.

"It's a big figure to raise, but we're confident we can do it because the development is vital for the club - particularly for our younger members.

"All three of us have come from the youth team so we know how important the development is.

"The club is run by a lot of people who give up their time to make sure everyone can continue to enjoy playing rugby. We feel that by doing this challenge we can give our own little bit back and help the club to flourish."

Expansion is needed, as on Sunday mornings the club has more than 250 six-12-year-olds and 75 youth players (13-17-years-old) involved in training and games.

However, new legislation requires clubs to have separate changing facilities for children and adults.

Club chairman Jamie Johnson said: "The club is in the unusual position of not owning its premises, so we have to rely on Heath Sports Club to provide changing facilities.

"The clubhouse itself has a finite amount of space, and Heath Sports Club has maximised this to provide facilities for a variety of different sports and events.

"However, there is only one large male changing room for all sports and ages, so with the Child Protection laws we have an issue every Sunday morning, and have to exclude other adult members from using the changing rooms while our young players are in there.

"The RFU is aware of this problem and has offered us a purpose-built pre-fabricated changing room, provided we obtain the necessary permission and pay for the groundwork and installation.

"This could cost us in excess of £30,000, and we already have about £8,000 of our own funds.

"It is therefore vital that we raise as much money as possible through sponsorship.

"Nick, Jack, and Rob have come up through the junior teams and are all too aware of the existing changing room problems.

"We are proud of their achievements as players, who have now become integral parts of the first team, and their commitment to the club they have grown up with.

"Their challenge is evidence of their desire to help the young players, who are looking to follow in their footsteps."

The trio will set off from Lands End on Monday, and aim to arrive in John O'Groats on Wednesday, September 10.

Jack said: "More than 250 minis and youth players train and play at the heath on a Sunday morning.

"For them to continue to do this, the club needs new changing rooms. So if our efforts go a small way to acquiring them, we will feel we have helped out a club which has given us so much.

"Although the challenge ahead is going to be physically and mentally demanding, we are looking forward to it because we have done a lot of preparation. And it will be nice cycling alongside teammates and I'm sure we will help each other throughout."

Anyone who would like to make a donation should email jack.hillman30@hotmail.co.uk or nick.alford@hotmail.co.uk with the following details: - Name, Email, Home Address and the amount you would like to sponsor.

In return you will be emailed with news letters leading up to and on completion of the ride.

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