Rugby club gets boost

The Williams Lake Rustlers Rugby Football Club has received funding from the federal government allowing them to complete some renovations.

The Williams Lake Rustlers Rugby Football Club has received funding from the federal government allowing them to complete some long overdue renovations to its clubhouse facility on Ottoman Drive, said WLRRFC president Rodger Stewart.

Early in March, Cariboo-Prince George Member of Parliament Dick Harris announced support for improvements to the clubhouse under the government’s Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund to the tune of $31,338.

Stewart said the club will use the funds to improve its clubhouse by increasing floor load, fixing fire separation problems, bringing guard rails up to code, adding a washroom and installing a wheelchair ramp.

“It’s something we’ve been facing a while now — being able to bring the clubhouse up to full public assembly standards,” he said. “It’s not completely appropriate to be used in that perspective, especially when we have a few big events a year it kind of gets outside that intent. When we have these big assemblies the building isn’t exactly constructed for that loading.”

Two years ago the WLRRFC replaced all the timber under the deck adjacent to the clubhouse with strengthened beams.

“But the floor space of the structure, as originally built for us, was built to residential standards, not public assembly standards,” he said, noting about a year and a half ago the club began looking at ways to go about increasing the floor load.

Todd Pritchard, treasurer of the WLRRFC, put together the proposal and following several conversations with government it was deemed an appropriate and worthy project.

“We will certainly still have to come up with and implement funding of our own to make this fly, but this is a very significant contribution in terms of the cost of the project we’re undertaking, which is somewhere in the $65,000 range,” he said.

Stewart said the upgrades will broaden the scope of use for the clubhouse and deck facility, and create an opportunity for the facility to be more broadly available to the community.

“This allows us to be able to support more of the sport-based tourism enterprise that comes to our community,” he said. “This year we’ve had inquiries from teams from Wales, England and Scotland to come to our community to play our youth, primarily, and having a facility like that in our community would continue to support and enhance that kind of activity.

“Being able to acquire a grant like this is very significant for us.”