Machen Rugby Club has been named overall winner of the NatWest RugbyForce 'Win a Pitch Makeover' competition.
The club, who received over 35% of the public vote, are to be rewarded with a brand new pitch kit, a set of Under Armour training tops and a visit from Wales and Lions legend Scott Quinnell during their NatWest RugbyForce weekend.
NatWest RugbyForce weekend, held between 30th - 31st August 2014, is designed to encourage club players, coaches, supporters and volunteers to get together to help make valuable improvements to their club. Of the 91 Welsh rugby clubs that registered for the programme, thirty were successful in earning £500 to help them complete projects and give their clubhouse and grounds a facelift on the last weekend of August.
Five of the thirty clubs - Cardigan RFC, Machynlleth RFC, Baglan RFC, Pontyclun RFC and Machen RFC were then shortlisted to go into a public vote to receive the overall NatWest Win a Pitch Makeover prize. Each club filmed a video explaining why they believed they were the most worthy winners, with the public voting for their favourite. After two weeks of intense competition, Machen RFC came out as worthy winners with a total of 2,929 votes, over 800 more than their nearest rivals.
Machen chairman Paul Crowley said, "We are grateful to all those who voted for Machen RFC. We are very much looking forward to the NatWest RugbyForce weekend and all getting together to help turn our dream into a reality. The generous grant from NatWest means we will be able to create a safe area behind the club for our large junior section to play and be part of the club. It will also mean we can improve our disabled access as we want to be truly inclusive and welcome all members of the community to our rugby club, for a variety of uses.
"We are asking everyone involved with the club to come down and be part of the NatWest RugbyForce weekend on Sunday 31 August from 11am - it will be a case of all hands on deck with the improvements but there will also be a barbecue taking place during the day and with Scott Quinnell coming down there is sure to be a lot of fun and a party atmosphere too."
Mark Douglas, Regional Director for Wales said, "A huge congratulations to Machen RFC. The NatWest Win a Pitch Makeover competition has been a fantastic opportunity for each of the five shortlisted clubs involved to engage with their local communities and to get people supporting their club. We wish every club participating in the NatWest RugbyForce weekend all the best and urge all rugby fans to get down and support their local clubs."
Forthcoming NatWest RugbyForce weekend club events:
Saturday 16 August
Cross Keys (9.30)
Sunday 24 August
Friday 29 August
Penclawdd (12 noon )
Nearly 40 players were involved in the first Wales Under 18 training session of the season. WRU National Performance Manager Gethin Watts is excited at the potential shown by the group and expects the Regional Under 18 Championship to hone their skills even further.