Upgrade ‘a long time coming’

Revamp . . . Green Island Rugby Football Club manager Gareth Weatherston (left) and secretary Chris Laws stand outside the clubrooms last week. PHOTO: JESSICA WILSON

Green Island Rugby Football Club has started another phase in its hope of making the clubrooms a “community hub”.

Construction to upgrade the club’s bathroom facilities started last Monday, and is expected to take about six weeks to complete.

Club manager Gareth Weatherston said it had been a “long time coming”.

Club secretary Chris Laws said the plan for the upgrade had been in the works for about 18 months.

The upgrade would be “like for like” of the original bathrooms but would include new fittings, a change-table, and insulation and heating.

It was funded by the Otago Community Trust, which granted the club $23,500, and the club’s own fundraising efforts, including selling toilet paper.

Mr Laws said the committee wanted to make the club more sustainable.

So far, this has also included a new heatpump, new insulation in the roof and a defibrillator. A new kitchen was also fitted in 2017.

The club held weekly prizegivings during the rugby season for its 22 junior and five senior teams, so maintaining the club was important, Mr Weatherston said.

“That’s massive for the club.”

Not only was the clubroom used by sports teams, it was also a popular venue for events like wedding receptions, after-funeral functions and birthday parties.

Mr Weatherston said the venue was almost fully-booked for the weekends in January to March next year.

However, its success did not come overnight.

The club was in a dire financial condition more than 10 years ago.

“It’s been a long journey.

“It’s not just one person, it’s everybody.”

Support from the community had been “outstanding”.