RECENTLY opened facilities at a Wee County rugby club have already been put to good use, especially by young players.

Alloa Rugby Club celebrated the opening of four dressing rooms all with integrated showers, a fitness suite as well as a physio and referees’ room two weeks ago at Earlsfield.

The clubhouse extension is understood to be the first new build on 40 years and the opportunity was also used to carry out some other upgrades as part of a facelift.

Jim Gove, club president, said: “I really believe we now have a facility fit for the present and the future.

“We have also taken the opportunity to upgrade our heating systems, re-roofed the club and installed new fire alarm and security systems.

“This will assist greatly in terms of reducing our onward maintenance and energy costs.”

The project could not get off the ground without funding from the Scottish Rugby Union, sportscotland, Clackmannanshire Council and the Hearts and Balls Charity.

There were some serious fundraising activities at the club too, with a members’ buy-a-brick scheme contributing to more than 35 per cent of the total cost.

Jim said the club was “hugely indebted” to all organisations and individuals who had shown their support.

The facilities have already been in use whit the juniors hosting a three-team tournament in U16 and all Alloa and Lornshill school fixtures have been taking place at Earlsfield.

Jim said: “Our relationship with the local schools and development of our Junior Section is key to the future sustainability of our club and this new facility really provides us with a ‘can do’ attitude.

“Our U16 coaches have already reported a change in fitness and physique in their squad since they started using the fitness suite and of course we now have the option of using the suite for strength and conditioning sessions even at short notice if outdoor training is prohibited by the weather."

At the opening ceremony, Jim thanked all present and announced the function room would be named The Peter Taylor Lounge, in memory of the former club president.

A perfectly pitched speech by Peter’s wife Anna officially opened the extension.

Further thanks go to the Station Hotel in town for kindly providing the buffet on the day.