CLAYTON, NC – Last week, the Town of Wilson’s Mills Council voted unanimously to approve an agreement with the Clayton Rugby Football Club. The agreement will see the Clayton RFC work with the town to develop rugby fields at the town’s new athletic park complex located on Powhatan Road. The Club’s Board of Directors sealed a deal to secure the long term security of the club after negotiating the terms of the agreement over the past five months. The agreement in place has the potential to last well beyond the lifetime’s of the Club’s current Board of Directors.
As part of the agreement, the Clayton RFC is to develop between 2-4 fields at the park site. One field is to be 100% dedicated to rugby and only to be used for games. The Championship Pitch will have permanent goal posts, team shelters, raised bleachers, and fenced enclosure around the field, among many other amenities. The remaining fields will serve as practice or alternate fields for tournaments. They will be sized for rugby, but be multi-purpose in nature with removable goal posts. The Clayton RFC will make those fields available to the Town of Wilson’s Mills residents when not in use for rugby.
“This is a win-win for the Town of Wilson’s Mills and the Rugby Club,” said Town Mayor Philip Wright. “We’re looking forward to having rugby as a part of Wilson’s Mills.”
The agreement comes after a multi-year search for a viable location to place fields. The Club’s search nearly paid off two prior times, only to have setbacks.
“We can only say that the two prior false starts were for a reason,” said Clayton RFC President Ted Hardy. “We were extremely disappointed that the last two didn’t work out, but it all led us to this point and an opportunity that is better than we could have ever expected.”
The facility is part of a broad strategic plan set forth by the Club Board of Directors. To go along with those plans, the Club has also been granted permission to place permanent structures on the grounds, including a full service clubhouse facility. The expanded playing facility and hosting capabilities will allow the Clayton RFC to grow the number of events, both rugby and non-rugby, that they will be capable of hosting in the future. The new facility will also increase the club’s ability to recruit players, create new revenue streams, and ultimately provide the best experience possible for members, fans, and the community as a whole.
“We have some great ideas on the table for events that we’re planning to launch,” added Hardy. “We’re also looking forward to being involved in the community in Wilson’s Mills, just as we have in Clayton. Everyone we’ve met thus far has been incredibly welcoming to us and we look forward to being a part of the Wilson’s Mills community for many years to come.
As part of the agreement, the Clayton RFC are also working with the Town of Wilson’s Mills to launch a youth rugby program at the new facility. The new program aims to engage boys and girls in Wilson’s Mills and surrounding areas. The program will be the second youth program in Johnston County behind the Clayton Copperheads whom were the first. The Clayton RFC plans to continue their support relationship with the Copperheads even after the new program comes online.
Plans are to break ground on the facility later this Fall. The Town of Wilson’s Mills expects to have their portion of the facility, to include a baseball/softball field and a multi-purpose field, open in the Fall of 2017. The Clayton RFC hopes to have playable fields ready in 2018.
“We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us,” finished Hardy. “But the end product will be something truly special for rugby in our area and for future generations. Well worth the time spent making this a reality.”
To learn more about the Clayton Rugby Football Club’s facility plans, please visit the Founder’s Initiative page. Any corporate sponsors that are interested in the project are encouraged to contact the club for further details. Corporate sponsorship packages are available. World Rugby Shop has signed on as the first corporate sponsor of the new facility and there are opportunities available for a wide range of sponsors to get involved in the fastest growing sport in the USA.
About the Clayton Rugby Football Club
Founded in the Fall of 2013, the Clayton Rugby Football Club is a men’s rugby program located in Johnston County, NC. Since starting with just seven players, the club has grown to over 50 active players and a growing fan base. The club was recently confirmed as the 5th fastest growing club in the USA. The club has a family friendly culture with a focus on community. The Clayton RFC currently fields three teams in XVs with competitive, developmental/social, and Old Boys as well as a 7s team during the Summer. Players looking to learn more about the club or join are encouraged to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. No prior experience is necessary and the club welcomes new players at any time during the season.