A RUGBY club has been given the green light to refurbish its clubhouse.

The committee at Wath Rugby Club signed off on the new plans in the hope it will also act as a community hub for residents after the pandemic.

The amateur club closed its doors following the third national lockdown, putting major strain on the team and its future.

However, thanks to financial support from Rotherham Council, Sport England and local backers, the club’s crucial regeneration work is set to kick off.

Michael Scherdel, the club chairman, who is also an architect, believes this is an exciting time for the team.

He said: “We’ve been fortunate throughout the pandemic to be in a stable place financially.

“We’re an amateur club and we don’t pay our players, everyone involved is a volunteer so we don’t have many outgoing costs.

“As a club, we’ve had to throw away a lot of our stock as a result of the lockdown which has been a big hit to us.

“We’ve had a great support from Rotherham Council and Sport England as well, which has helped us stay afloat.

“This has left us in a good position to take advantage of the club’s closure by starting this exciting revamp work.

“Following weeks of planning and contemporary designs by myself and Jorge Hermoso, from HLM Architects, we finally started the work on Monday.

“Craig Sanderson, our ex-captain, has assisted in the project planning and will be carrying out all of the construction and fitting works which is brilliant.

“We can’t wait to unveil these exciting plans and bring the clubhouse into the modern day.”

The committee had a long deliberation process ahead of the regeneration plans, although Michael believes it was important to invest in the club’s future.

“There were initial plans for an extension to the clubhouse, but I tried to steer the committee into upgrading what we already have.

“Work will start in the members’ lounge through into the clubroom, including upgrades and enhancements to the bar and kitchen.

“The second phase will involve the much-needed upgrading of the toilet areas.

“These plans will see a more open space with Covid-19 restrictions in mind for when people are allowed to return to us – we will have a large and open space.

“This is just the start of the exciting things ahead for Wath Rugby Club, although it’s been frustrating to not play rugby.

“Rugby is at the forefront on our minds and we’re a rugby club first and foremost. We’re hoping this work will be a massive boost to those waiting to get back out and play the sport we love.”