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Funding boost for rugby youngsters after lockdown frustrations

From News & press - 6 August 2021 12:00 AM

Youngsters at a Buckingham rugby club have received a funding boost to their morale after the heartache of being denied playing their favourite sport during lockdown.

Buckingham Rugby Club under-nines squad has received a £250 Team Sport award from UK Power Networks, who distribute electricity across the East of England.

Employee Dave Trundley, who volunteers as coach and whose daughter Lucy plays for the team which is managed by his wife Stacey, applied for the award which will be spent on new equipment including tackle bags and pads.

It is the fourth consecutive year the team has received the money from UK Power Networks and is a bright note to mark the end of what has been a bleak period for the team after the emotional turmoil of having to halt playing a number of times due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Dave, who works as a field engineer in Hemel Hempstead, said: “As with other sports clubs, the coronavirus pandemic had a real impact on us and not being able to play understandably upset the players as they enjoy rugby and the club has provided them with great friendships.

“Our 2019-20 season was cut short by the first lockdown. We managed to return in September 2020, but training was limited by restrictions, before everything was suspended again in December due to rising cases nationwide. Safety comes first, but it was hugely disappointing for everyone.

“The money we had last year from UK Power Networks was used to buy kit we barely wore, but we’re hoping to get much better value from the training equipment and it’s been great in recent weeks to see the children so delighted at returning to action.”

The Team Sport Award scheme encourages UK Power Networks staff to volunteer in the community and is aimed at promoting healthy living, teamwork and development of sporting opportunities.

Hundreds of community and sports groups have benefited from grants since the scheme was set up. During 2020, more than 60 teams benefitted to a combined sum of £15,500.