By Tracy Davis
The first Age Grade cabin was an invaluable asset for our young players and parents but what it lacked was a piped water supply and a toilet facility. The roofs were also beginning to be more porous and the floors were deteriorating.
In the mid noughties, Mini Junior Chairman at the time Bohdan Santar organised fundraising efforts to replace the cabin with two metal containers that were purchased for around £10,000 from a company in Bristol. The old cabin had to be dismantled on site to make way for the new cabin.
David Firth provided and fitted the galvanised fencing and Tony Bodsworth kindly provided and fitted the kitchen facilities.
Georgia Parkinson and her husband Michael continued the tradition of carrying vats of water over to the cabin every Sunday Morning, to allow them to provide refreshments for the parents and kids.
Attention turned to upgrading the cabin at the start of the last decade. It was clear from the outset that the required improvements were going to be costly but as ever the section members rolled their sleeves up and got stuck in.
The water supply proved relatively straight forward and came from an existing link at the far corner of the astro-turf pitch where the old cricket pavilion used to be.
Grateful thanks at this point must go to Michael Stancliffe of Eurolink and Tim Nield who were instrumental in sourcing a new, larger cabin unit which was placed in situ to receive the piped water supply. The new cabin had been a temporary office unit at the Huddersfield Royal Infirmary and Michael and Tim completed the job of redesigning the interior to suit the section’s needs.
The overall cost of the upgrade was about £60,000. Myself and Dereck Tasker managed to secure grants from Sport England and the RFU Foundation and I organised a concert night at the club with a live band which raised a few thousand pounds. A huge thank you is due to Dereck for his expertise in administering the grant applications.
The new cabin was opened in 2013. It offers catering and indoor seating and has toilet and first aid facilities. As well as for Sunday morning junior rugby it is used at rugby and hockey festivals and also for our popular Age Grade summer camps. Very importantly it also allows us to run courses for coaches, referees and indoor training. Claire Baillon currently runs the café supplying the much needed bacon butties etc.
This summer will see the construction of a new patio complete with canopy to give much needed cover for parents and players. We are also building in a serving hatch to enable people to buy food from the outside. Having been relocated to the side of the all-weather pitch the old cabin is now used by the Huddersfield Dragons hockey club.
With thanks to the Management Committee for their input and to Dereck for finding the grants.