One of the oldest rugby clubs in the world has been given a boost in its efforts to transform aging facilities into a £1.2m Sports and Social Community Hub.
Streatham-Croydon RFC in Thornton Heath is celebrating receiving two grants totalling £120,000 with honorary president Dick Towers being handed a £50,000 cheque from Olympic legend Sir Steve Redgrave.
The first grant was from Sport England, while the club has received £70,000 as part of the Mayor of London’s Sport Legacy Fund, announced on Monday.
Head coach Jeff Greenleaf has been instrumental in putting together the plans.
He said: "The redevelopment will allow for the whole community to use the facilities, whether it be for sports such as netball, basketball, archery, football, cricket and American football; or for fitness sessions, martial arts and yoga.
"Our current facilities do not help us attract and retain players. We do a lot of work to recruit new players, and the club has a unique history and atmosphere, but has been undermined by the state of the changing rooms and showers.
"These grants have been awarded thanks to our award-winning partnerships with the local community, particularly Rob from the SSCN, and shows how the club has realised that its best chance of returning to the higher levels of rugby is to make the most of its large catchment area."
The 141-year-old club is aiming for additional funding from private sector sponsors and the Rugby Football Union.
The plan is split into refurbishing changing rooms, showers and derelict squash courts, which has received planning permission, and erecting a clubhouse, and netball and basketball courts.
Work on the first part of the plan is due next year.