Burley RUFC based near Kirkstall Abbey, is to receive £50000 of National Lottery funding from Sport Englands Protected Playing Fields fund.
The club is to benefit from the award to improve its first team pitch and secure a 25 year lease. The council owned pitch has deteriorated so badly over the past few years that it has developed many undulations causing it to be virtually unplayable.
Spokesman John Sanderson said “We are in the early stages of the process with the pitch having been assessed by an agronomist, the idea is to kill the surface vegetation and then laser level the top soil and reseed. We will hopefully start when the season ends in early May so as to leave all Summer for the grass to establish then start playing on it in September/October”
The club is also in negotiations with Leeds City Council to secure a 25 year lease and so securing its long term future.
Burley run two sides and are hoping to turn out a third before the end of the season, as new players of all abilities are always welcome. Training nights are Tuesdays and Thursdays 6.30pm under the stewardship of former 1st team captain and Head Coach Peter Leeman, who has been involved with the club for over 30 years, both as player and now coach.
The 1st team play in the very competitive Yorkshire 3 and at the half way point in the season lay in 8th place. While any hopes of promotion may have gone more wins are required to retain Yorkshire 3 status with some tough games ahead in 2014. Captain Simon Pantelli and Vice Captain Jim Langtree are two young men both in their first season of leadership and have risen to the task with great maturity.
The 2nd team play in the North Central merit league and in spite of losing more than they have won have a real team spirit in the side, largely due to the Captain Kenny Parsons and Vice captain Andy Kanabar who have gathered a side together of some good young prospects and players of more mature years.
Established in 1921 the club has been on its present site since the 1950s initially with changing facilities at the Vesper Gate Hotel before building its clubhouse in 1969. The club has extended and refurbished its premises many times over the years and now boasts a building with four changing rooms, referees room, showers, gym and social areas, comprising of a large lounge and games room.
“Our main source of revenue is the bar, and fortunately we have many social members from the immediate area, without whose patronage we would not be able to improve the facilities as we do” said John Sanderson “The players come from all areas of Leeds and once joined rarely leave such is team spirit and camararderie within the club.” Another source of recruitment is from Leeds’ Universities every year around ten students join the club with a few staying in Leeds after their studies and continuing to play at the club.
Anyone wanting to join the club come down any Tuesday or Thursday at 6.30pm or contact John Sanderson 07752362982 you will be most welcome.