Last month, Jon Cruddas MP’s team had the pleasure of speaking with the Dagenham Rugby Union Football Club. Dagenham RUFC was started in 1991 by a group of friends who wanted to come together and enjoy their love of drinking port and playing rugby away from other local clubs.
A kit was borrowed, and the first games were played out of Eastbrook School with The Beacon Pub on Oxlow Lane hosting afterwards. In a clear sign of the times The Beacon has since become a Tesco Express.
The club currently has 2 senior men’s teams and occasional Vets team. They also provide rugby, free of charge, for boys and girls aged 11 to 18 and they hope one day to provide a lady’s team. They are always looking to recruit new players and members. The club welcome any new players of any ability from total beginner.
Jon’s team spoke with Mark Newson, the club’s secretary, about the future of the club, how the pandemic affected them, and their current fundraising for a changing room refurbishment.
Mark Newson: “Following the Covid-19 pandemic, the club lost its main form of income (hiring the hall for functions) overnight. We still had a lot of outgoings, so our small financial reserves soon dwindled! With the help of the members and local sponsors we managed to ride out until the lockdowns finished. Everything is now back to normal.”
The club recently engaged in a sponsored half marathon, arranged by Mark, in an effort to raise money for a much-needed refurbishment of the club changing rooms.
Mark Newson: “In April 2022 a few of the members decided to do a sponsored half marathon from the rugby club to The Rugby Tavern in Bloomsbury, London. After a gruelling 5 hours and many blisters we all managed to finish and enjoy a well-earned beer at the end! We raised just over £2000 which will be spent in helping to spruce up the changing rooms and other facilities.”
The clubhouse is owned by The Council and we are currently engaging with them about bringing the building up to scratch through the Central Park Masterplan. However, in the meantime we are doing our bit where we can on certain projects. We have recently replaced some of the roof which was leaking and put new flooring and doors in the main hall. This was achieved through grants and fundraising.”
You can donate to the club fundraiser here: Fundraiser by Mark Newson : Dagenham RUFC Changing Room Improvements (gofundme.com)
You can find out more information about the club and how to get involved here: Dagenham Rugby Union Football Club Est. 1991 (dagenhamrufc.co.uk)
Jon Cruddas MP: “Dagenham Rugby Union Football Club is a great community club who provide invaluable coaching to residents of all ages. It also gives young people a fun but safe socialising space. I would encourage my constituents to show their support for the club.”