London Scottish Rugby Club have raised over £32,000 from a crowdfunding appeal to keep the amateur side of the club going during the pandemic.
The overall goal of £50,00 should see the club through this season and secure a playing site for next season after their decision to leave the Athletic Ground in Richmond this year.
The club announced the fundraising drive on 2 October just a month after the minis went back to training.
The RFU’s return to rugby plan is in phase D which means the clubs are only allowed 15 minutes of adapted contact activities during training.
The money is needed to pay for the ground, the equipment, the insurance necessary for everyone to play rugby and to contribute to bursaries for five kids who can’t pay their subs and several more they hope to help in the future.
An executive video message was posted on the club’s website on 7 October to update fans on the fundraising project.
Club President Paul Burnell said: “Over 100 people from the club have contributed so I’m really proud of that so thank you.”
The professional side of London Scottish is struggling along with the rest of the Championship, but they are hoping for a bailout from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sports.
The arts sector received a similar bailout of £257 million and the RFU are currently in discussions with the government for a similar injection of funds to keep rugby afloat.
According to club chairman Malcolm Offord the Championship won’t take place this season without fans through the gates, as nine out of 12 Championship clubs have said they won’t last without crowds.
This comes just months after the RFU announced it would cut its funding to Championship clubs by 50% over the next two seasons.
London Scottish in response converted into a semi-professional side but even that won’t be enough to maintain the club if they don’t get fans into the stands.
Offord said: “We were dealt a bit of a body blow when the prime minister basically put us on hold for another 6 months by the announcement that we cannot have crowds.
“The support means a lot to the players who are trying their best in very difficult circumstances.”
The fundraising appeal can be found here.
Featured image credit: London Scottish Rugby