THE COMMUNITY has rallied to support a rugby union club in their efforts to “Kick back at Covid.”

Aspatria RUFC has been at the heart of its community since 1875.

In exchange for the joy it has brought players and supporters of the Reds and Blacks over the years, club bosses called on Aspatria to back their rugby league club.

And the community answered. Aspatria RUFC have surpassed their £10,031 fundraising target to restore and improve their facilities.

In a video appeal, committee member Barney Clegg said: “I’ve served on the committee for many years and been treasurer of the club for the past 20 years and during that time we’ve steered ourselves through some difficult financial positions but nothing like what is facing us now.”

Facilities at Bower Park are in need of renovation and changes will have to be made if the club can safely return to play.

“The grandstand was built around 1995 to the specifications then but the changing rooms are looking a bit dilapidated and in particular the ventilation simply isn’t up to standard anymore. Nor is the medical facility for the sake of our players and visiting players. So we really need to do something with those and that is going to cost a lot of money.

“Generally maintenance has to continue even though our income has dropped down to more or less nil since March of 2020.”

Aspatria RUFC have received a huge response to their plea, the Crowdfunder has already surpassed their £10,000 target, reaching the £1,000 mark in just a matter of hours.

And there is still time to donate. The Aspatria RU board has said: “The club is operated entirely on the work of volunteers and the generosity of our magnificent sponsors. We know that life will be very different both on and off the pitch when rugby returns in September. We need to be prepared and this is an opportunity for you to help us on the journey.”

In their Crowdfunder appeal, the board have reminded the community that it is not just Aspatria RU that make use of Bower Park.

They are joined by Maryport Archery Club, NHS Blood Donors, community events such as Christmas parties and Aspatria Parkrun. Maryport’s archery club have recently announced that they will make Bower Park their base from 2021 onwards.

The club have built-in a series of rewards for supporting their campaign ranging from their name published in a list of supporters for donating £1, to a VIP match day sponsor package.