It’s refreshing to realise sport is so much more than just a result – after a referee blows the final whistle, an umpire concludes a match or a finish line has been crossed.
When the good people at Duns Rugby Club announced their plans to hold a Grand Opening Day on Saturday, August 26, it didn’t take long to realise this is a club with a heart and spirit that captures the imagination.
The club’s coaching philosophy is simple: “We will develop the hidden potential of everyone, on and off the pitch through enjoyment, dedication and developing team spirit.”
It’s an ethos that everyone can see for themselves when the club throws open its doors next weekend for a day that is a nod to the past and a glimpse of the future for the club and the community as a whole.
This is a club that is striving to be at the hub of Duns and Berwickshire, an all-inclusive environment, where the Minis matter as much as the First XV, a place that’s not just about Saturday results, it’s about giving everyone a club to call their own every day of the week.
The Grand Opening Day is a unique chance for everyone to go behind the scenes and access all areas at The Dingers.
The action gets under way at 12.30pm outside for the Family Fun Day, while at the same time in the clubroom there will be a special ‘thank you’ lunch for invited guests whose continued support is invaluable, with SRU president Ron Flockhart unveiling a plaque that states ‘for club and community’.
The town has had a long rugby presence dating back more than a century – but the modern-day club’s renaissance dates from 1959 when Archie McCulloch, a physical education teacher at Berwickshire High School, assisted by David Mackenzie-Robertson and Ross Logan, reformed the club.
Almost 60 years on, the club has converted the Berwickshire High School gym into its fully functioning clubroom and bar and events venue.
Work on the club started three years ago, culminating in this Grand Opening as a celebration of all of the hard work and effort everyone has put into it.
The new clubrooms are surrounded by the new Berwickshire Primary School, the Duns Swimming Pool, Duns Football Club and Duns Squash Club, making the overall premises a real hub for the community.
There are far too many people to mention individually, but the club would like to thank:
Sportscotland - £58K
SRU - £50K
ENTRUST (Landfill community Fund) - £25.5K
Rank Foundation - £4K
Hearts & Balls - £3K
Cowrig Charitable Foundation - £3K
Live Borders - £2K
Friends of Scottish Rugby - £1K
So head along to the Grand Opening Day on August 26 and see a club making a real impact on and off the field.
12PM – Invited guests arrive for three-course dinner in the main clubroom hall
12.30PM – Family Fun Day commences containing:
- bouncy castles
- water dunking
- outdoor bar, picnic, music
1.30PM – Minis fixtures
2.30PM – Duns Pipeband
3PM – Duns 1st XV vs Kelso 2nd XV
(clubrooms/bar open to general public from 2.30pm)
5PM – MIDNIGHT – Aftermatch function and disco
DID YOU KNOW?
✔ The club have converted the former Berwickshire High Gym into a fully functioning clubroom and bar.
It has the capability of seating 250 people and has held several beautiful wedding receptions already, among many other activities. Adjoined to the bar and function area are kitchen and dining areas.
The kitchen is kitted out with restaurant type catering facilities and the dining room can either be open or shut off to the main hall area.
There is also an educational suite for various sport training and developmental classes plus external hosting capabilities for things like meetings, conferences and workplace training events.
The next investment in the facility is a fully functioning multimedia set-up (PC projector primarily) to maximise this resource for sports teams, committees, businesses and other organisations.
✔ Duns have also developed the playing fields with a top-class level sized pitch and a supporting training pitch, both fully floodlit.
✔ All of the development has been undertaken by club members and members of the general public. Some of the funding has been self-generated but the majority has come from supporting parties such as the SRU, local development organisations (eg windfarms) and local businesses.
✔ Duns Rugby Club have a very strong minis section within the club and are committed to developing grass roots within the game. The club believe that the game of rugby can develop a youngster as a person, not just a player. The club is committed to promoting this and they now have the facility to back this up and attract people.