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RAMS Rugby FC installs multi-use indoor training facility

Multi-purpose instant building for training and social purposes
RAMS Rugby FC is committed to the future - and that means investing in the infrastructure needed to support the club
2024-04-22 11:15:00 2024-05-01 11:00:39
rams-rugby-fc-sports-training-facility RAMS Rugby FC's new indoor multi-purpose sports training facility

Originally set up in 1924 by the old boys of Reading School in Berkshire, RAMS Rugby FC has pride in its heritage but with a firm focus on the future of the club. It is an ambitious, forward-thinking rugby club dedicated to the pursuit of improvements, growth and, of course, success - on and off the rugby pitch. 

The importance of training

RAMS Rugby has a strong community spirit and offers a training and playing programme for all ages: from over 500 minis and junior players through to 3+ senior sides. As a busy sporting hub, full of atmosphere and energy, the facilities are well-used and an important part of Reading’s rugby landscape. Also, with a culture rooted in coaching, the quality of its premises and facilities are of utmost importance.

Chairman Andy Lynch has been part of the club for most of his life. On a mission to continually develop the club, he chose to address the issue of ground wear and tear at the club. He highlighted how its three floodlit pitches continue to require a lot of maintenance, particularly with the inclement British weather and high impact, constant usage. The committee agreed that this cost could be partially offset by investing in a covered training space with a 3G floor. It offered a more affordable - and also more immediate - solution than a previously explored, high-cost, open-air astroturf pitch.

Increasing training and protecting the pitch

In line with the club’s commitment to coaching it installed a high performance gym a few years ago. This united the players and increased their ability to work and develop together. The new Smart-Space building will perpetuate the RAMS’ team spirit by providing more covered space and allowing at least two additional sessions to take place concurrently. This will help to ease wear and tear on existing facilities; used throughout the club as well as visiting university, academy and federation teams. 

In preparation for the new building, the club laid a 600 square metre concrete base. They repurposed the excavated topsoil to save cost and also pulled in favours from players and contacts to get the work done - in true rugby club style. They also decided to add a covered wooden canopy area in front of the building so players could change footwear or muddy or wet clothing before entering. It also looks attractive and creates a more impressive entrance area.

 

We use the Smart-Space building for general fitness training, skills and drills and line-outs for the whole club, all ages. It’s an ideal size with plenty of open, overhead room which makes line-out practice possible. We have the option to dry-line it at some stage and have already added post protectors which is really important in our sport.

Creating a revenue stream

The RAMS Rugby operational team is now looking at ways in which the building can be monetised and used as a potential revenue stream to create additional funds. 

This will cover the costs of the building itself but also raise vital funds for the club. Commercial opportunities include external hire: to other sports clubs, for parties and social events, occasional weddings and other functions. The club has invested in professional, protective floor tiles to cover the 3G flooring and allow the wear of heels and other potentially damaging footwear. 

Smart-Space provide complete flexibility

“Being able to choose between hiring and buying or switching at any point is what led us to Smart-Space” explained Andy. “We have worked with a previous supplier who held us to a hire agreement several years after the point when buying started to make sense. Smart-Space offers that flexibility from the outset which we thoroughly applaud.”

The addition of the multi-purpose instant building has given RAMS Rugby a further lift, ready for a promotion into the tier-2 club rankings. It follows investment in all areas of the grounds, from a TV mast, grandstand, improved and extended clubhouse and its gradual transformation into a destination sports venue. Having the new Smart-Space building that extends the number of training hours available and has the potential for a regular revenue stream is a real win for the club and, of course, its biggest fan, chairman Andy Lynch.

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Andy Lynch, Chairman
RAMS Rugby FC

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