Your votes could help Uckfield Rugby Club secure between £10,000 and £25,000 in funding towards improving its pitches.
The club is bidding for help through the Aviva Community Fund and votes from friends, family and supporters in the community could sweep it into the finals where a judging panel will award the money.
If you would like to get involved there are details on how to register and log-in to vote here.
More than 500 projects across the UK will eventually be funded through the scheme.
Uckfield Rugby Club runs a total of 18 rugby teams – two adult male, one adult female, 12 youth boys and three youth girls – with more than 300 active playing members.
The club says in its competition entry that it has only three full-size pitches so usage is “incredibly high” and they also have many dog walkers and ramblers accessing the grounds.
The club continues: “The pitches therefore suffer significant wear and tear over the course of a nine-month, September to May, season with a key issue being over-compaction of the predominantly Wealden clay soil.
“The excessive usage of the pitches also leads to restricted root growth in September and October, resulting in loss of grass and significant bare patches appearing early in the season.”
The Friday Boys
The pitches are maintained by a group of volunteers who are former players and are known within the club as The Friday Boys. They go to the club every Friday morning throughout the year to spend four to five hours mowing, strimming, edging, cleaning, painting and carrying out other general maintenance tasks.
But, the club says, it doesn’t have the expertise or equipment to undertake the work it is applying for funding to get done. This would have to be done by an outside contractor.
It would be done in four phases, one after another and would include:
- Scarifying the surface of the pitches to reduce thatch
- Drainage installation to the worst areas of the two pitches nearest to the river including carrier drains parallel to the touchline and lateral drains across the pitches.
- Vertidraining to open up the compacted clay and enhance the drainage properties of the soil structure.
- Provide the volunteer team with a grass-cutting machine capable of maintaining the pitches after repair avoiding the need for regular heavy investment in outside contractors.
The work would be carried out in May/June 2018, allowing two months for the grass to grow back over the disturbed areas before the start of the season.
• Uckfield Rugby Club is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and in the summer organised a two-day extravaganza for the whole town to enjoy – with the highlights being a BMX show on the Saturday and the arrival of a parachute display team at their ground on the Sunday.
This weekend they are sharing their celebrations again with a free, public, and professional, fireworks display on Saturday night.