The Centurions Rugby Football Club is calling on all rugby lovers to help ensure the survival of the grassroots game.
Covid-19’s effect on rugby at all levels has been profound, but especially for the community game. Trust funding, along with revenue gained from clubroom bars, fundraisers and gate admissions has all but dried up and the result of this is that some of the regions’ 17 clubs are now struggling to pay fixed costs.
With much uncertainty around when it will be safe to start the community rugby season for 2020, the financial implications of this pandemic will only be exacerbated with every idle week.
Therefore, the stark reality is that some clubs may cease to exist without prior intervention.
Enter the ‘Pay it Forward’ scheme – a chance to stand up, rally together and pass our love and support onto our local clubs.
What we’re asking for is a small financial donation from you – the community. It could be as little as the cost of the flat white you’d drink whilst watching a game from the sideline or the price of the pint you’d buy to celebrate a victory or commiserate a loss.
Each donor will be able to pick which club receives their money and have it transferred directly and securely into the correct bank account.
Centurions President, Erin Rush, says it’s an opportunity to muck-in and be proactive about helping these clubs tread water.
“Rugby clubs are an essential part of our communities. They bring friends and whanau together every week for trainings and games and social events. To lose even one of our clubs would be devastating.”
And Rush is hoping this call to arms, brings not only current and former players out of the woodwork, but our wider community as well.
“This appeal goes out to all those Saturday morning dog walkers who miss seeing the colour and noise of the juniors running around on a blustery autumn morning, or just ordinary folk who realise there is a little something missing in their local community at present. Just think, if we don’t do something – we may risk losing that for good in some areas.”
Rush says she knows Wellington Rugby is trying everything it can to lead its community through the Covid crisis, but it’s also facing dire financial challenges.
“That’s why we need to be proactive; we need to be independent and stand up together for the sport we love. We can’t just sit tight and hope there’s an ambulance waiting at the bottom of the cliff.”
Wellington Rugby CEO, Matt Evans, says he’s delighted to see the community rallying together during such tough times.
He believes it highlights the importance club rugby holds within the community.
” I’ve spoken to many volunteers from the club scene and some of them are anxious as to where the next round of funding is going to come from. This initiative allows them to connect directly with rugby and non-rugby people who might be in a position to help. “
You can donate via this link here
Who are the Centurions Rugby Football Club?
The Centurions Rugby Football Club has been in Wellington for over 80 years. Its membership of almost 300 is made up of people who love the game of rugby union and who have excelled as players, referees, coaches or administrators. This membership represents a huge resource of rugby experience and talent which can be used by rugby clubs and secondary schools in the Wellington Rugby Football Union area.
The Centurions club has always been active in the Wellington rugby scene, but since the rise of professional rugby its attention has been increasingly focused on young players of all standards. That includes the ones who are keen on the game but who do not make the top youth teams and are therefore in danger of losing enthusiasm or quitting the sport. In recent years the Club has widened its support to include junior and women’s rugby.