Chiswick Rugby Club
Home to rugby in Chiswick for more than 60 years
Chiswick Rugby Club celebrated 60 years in 2018. Set up by former Chiswick School players as the Old Meadownians (based in Dukes Meadows) the amateur club has grown from humble beginnings with a wooden shack, which was burnt down, into a big club with a proper club house, four senior teams and a flourishing Minis section. To top the celebrations, in their 60th anniversary year the RFU provided them with an artificial pitch, to enable the club to reach the next level. Club Chairman Kelvin Campbell talked to The Chiswick Calendar before the building work started.
The all-weather pitch was installed over the summer and officially launched in October 2018 with a game against Harpenden (which Chiswick won 17:8). Leader of Hounslow Council Steve Curran and England women’s squad member Abbie Scott were among those invited to celebrate the opening, as was The Chiswick Calendar. The all-weather pitch at Chiswick Rugby Club is part of a much wider scheme by the council to develop the sports facilities at Dukes Meadows. Read more about the plans here.
Photographs above: the new all-weather pitch; players trying it out; Rachel Watson, former manager of George IV, toasting its opening.
The development of Dukes Meadows has caused ructions, with the football club Old Meadownians voting against a similar scheme for a new football pavilion and two 3G artificial grass pitches, as well as improvements to their grass pitches. The football club is also a local success story, both on and off the field, being one of the largest and most successful amateur clubs in the London area, at a time when there is a significant decline in adult male 11-a-side football, but they felt that as the proposed contract would be between the London Borough of Hounslow and the FA, they could lose out. Matters came to a head in the summer of 2018 when the Rugby Club pitch was being built. Read the full story here.
Photographs above: Kelvin Campbell behind the club car; Chiswick Minis
Plans for the future
The introduction of an artificial grass pitch is the first step on the way to achieving Chiswick Rugby Club’s goal of becoming the leading community amateur rugby club. In addition to the £800k for the artificial pitch and floodlights, over the next 30 years the RFU has promised a further £700k towards maintenance of the pitch. It is available for daily use by all club teams, senior, junior and mini, as well as local schools and community groups, which the club believes will help make assure their future, embedded in the local community.
Chiswick RFC now plans to extend and improve the clubhouse to provide four additional changing rooms, and provide better rugby and community facilities. This will be completed in two phases and will require an investment of at least £1m in total.
Phase One is to provide the new modern changing rooms and associated facilities, including dedicated physiotherapy suite and referee changing rooms. The club says: ‘new changing rooms will open the club up to the local community, providing safe and clean facilities for all to use including the four senior sides and 150 minis and juniors playing week in week out. The new facilities will also provide an opportunity for the club to grow, and upon completion Chiswick RFC will be taking steps to set up a ladies team and host Friday night matches!’
Club Chairman Kelvin Campbell said:
“This is a significant moment in Chiswick’s RFC history. Our ambition is to provide fantastic rugby and other sports opportunities for our wonderful community. We wouldn’t be where we are today without the generous support of our partners, members and other supporters”.
Chiswick Rugby Club is situated at Dukes Meadow, Dan Mason Dr, Chiswick, London W4 2SH