Huish Tigers RFC is a brand new community rugby club, established in late 2019, right in the heart of Taunton. Richard Manning tells us how a £2,500 grant from The Somerset Fund has supported the club to help them continue building their vision.
“We’re a brand new community rugby club, established in late 2019, right in the heart of Taunton. Our objective is to provide rugby activities for all: men and women, juniors and seniors. Due to the current pandemic, we’ve been unable to play any games this season, however, we have a very enthusiastic group of senior members committed to playing and training.
We’re here to promote rugby within the wider community and we plan to start a Huish Tigers Rugby Cubs for 5 - 7 year olds, an Under 18s, and a Women’s team. Our site was formerly six acres of MOD (Ministry of Defence) meadowland, and we’ve levelled, grassed and cut two acres of it to create a matching playing league pitch. This took many months of voluntary work, creating pathways, a parking area, clearing scrubland and more besides.
It’s anticipated that once playing resumes, we’ll have 200 people a week playing on our field. We let the summer schools use it free of charge. We’re very lucky that we’ve developed links with Bristol Bears RFC Bristol Bears (a professional Premiership Rugby club), who provide coaches and can signpost young talent in the future.
Our club has many members who’ve experienced difficulties in their young lives. Our head coach has mentored and helped them over time, and through sport has improved their self esteem and confidence. Our ethos is to be inclusive, helping to give people drive and confidence. We offer somewhere that is warm, friendly and safe.
Everyone is welcome to come down to the pitch to watch the games and spend time here, and we’ve plans to clear the remaining four acres of land for other activities, such as softball cricket and football.
We’re an ‘open doors’ club – open for all members and all sports. As you can imagine, it’s taken a lot of hard work to turn this land into our rugby playing and training pitches. But we got there with thanks to The Somerset Fund grant, and we’ve two acres for young people and everyone in the community to use and enjoy, with more yet to come.”