A Cumbrian rugby club is preparing for the big kick off once after more than 18 months enforced lay-off from playing.
Upper Eden RFC, based in Kirkby Stephen, will be welcoming the local community back to the club this weekend to celebrate the return of 15-a-side rugby, during which time volunteers and club members have worked tirelessly to support the club and community through the COVID-19 pandemic.
The community is encouraged to pitch up today to support the first team in their match against Workington Zebras. Kick-off is at 3pm and the bar will be open from 2.30pm.
Tomorrow, there will be a fun family rugby day where both adults and children of all ages and abilities can take part in some non-contact, rugby-themed games.
There will also be a barbecue and the bar will be open from 11am.
The celebrations are part of England Rugby’s Pitch Up for Rugby programme, aimed at getting the grassroots game up and running after lockdown.
Bill Sweeney, CEO of England Rugby, said: “I’m delighted clubs across the country are able to get all formats of rugby back on the pitch and open their clubhouse doors once again.
“We know being part of a team is not just something players feel is important to their physical health but also their mental wellbeing and social life, so are excited to be able to show communities up and down the country just what their local rugby club has to offer as part of the Pitch Up for Rugby initiative.
“I hope people can make it down to support Upper Eden RUFC and enjoy the weekend’s celebrations.”