Keswick Rugby Club is to waive next season’s annual subscriptions for all players in a bid to help ease financial problems some will be suffering because of the coronavirus lockdown.
Senior players had each paid £100 to become club members for the current unfinished season but there will be no charge for 2020-21 after a decision taken by last night by Davidson Park’s general committee. Family memberships which include young players and cost £40-£60 will also be waived.
The club is a charity run by volunteers and the move will cost it thousands of pounds of valuable income, although players will be invited to make a donation to a trust in lieu of their subs. Spectators’ annual subscriptions will still apply.
A club statement said: “We realise that for some senior players and junior players and their families, times will be very hard in the coming months through job loss or changing circumstances, financially and otherwise. As a club we do not want any player or young family to think of not playing rugby due to financial hardship.”
The club will be setting up a donations page for the Keswick Community Rugby Trust where people can give a donation to help with future running costs if they wish to do so. The statement also thanked all the club’s sponsors, adding: “You have given us great support and it is very much appreciated.”
Besides two men’s teams, the club also fields 12 sides at junior or mini age levels, and has a women’s team. It had been a tough season for Keswick’s 1st XV in the North One West league, competing against famous clubs like Firwood Waterloo, Broughton Park, Vale of Lune, Wilmslow and Birkenhead Park as well as local rivals Penrith. Keswick were bottom of the league after what was their last game at Warrington on 14th March.
Since then, all fixtures and training sessions have been cancelled and the clubhouse and gym closed because of coronavirus. Chairman Trevor Keough said: “Times are very uncertain right now. Let us not lose the spirit that we have built as a club over many years. As we get to know more we will keep all informed in the hope we can get back to playing, spectating and supporting the game we love as quickly as possible.”