Celebrating new facility and new season at Kelso

Dee Bradbury, right, SRU vice-president, about to cut the ribbon of the new changing facility (picture by Gavin Horsburgh)
Dee Bradbury, right, SRU vice-president, about to cut the ribbon of the new changing facility (picture by Gavin Horsburgh)

Despite something of a hammering by Hawick in their showpiece attraction last Saturday, Kelso RFC’s family promotional day was judged a success.

Large numbers of townsfolk made their way to Poynder Park to enjoy a day of special attractions.

On the bill was a number of rugby games at different age levels, and the opening of a newly-refurbished changing facility.

Guests on the day included Ross Ford and Duncan Weir, from the Scottish Rugby Union, and the organisation’s vice-president, Dee Bradbury, who opened the new changing rooms.

The improvements came about through grants of £50,000 from Scottish Rugby’s Club Sustainability Fund, £100,000 from sportscotland, £30,000 from BCCF Environmental (from money donated by Scottish Borders Council through the Scottish Landfill Communities Fund) and £30,000 from the Scottish Landfill Communities Fund through WREN.

The cash was used to transform their current facility, which was in need of a major overhaul, to make it fit for purpose and worthy of a top 20 club.

There was some ‘tartan touch’ rugby among the younger age ranges, followed by a sevens game featuring the Kelso ladies’ squad.

The came the main match of the day, a pre-season warm-up between Kelso and Hawick’s first XVs.

The game featured a 40-minute half and two 20-minute quarters, allowing both sides to feature a big selection of players, with the Robbie Dyes winning 57-17.

The day served a number of off-field purposes as well, said a spokesman, with a reminder that the season was about to start and opportunities to obtain international tickets.

Kelso have another warm-up game this Saturday at Alnwick and are also due to visit Cartha QP, the side promoted with them to BT National League Division One.

Hawick captain Bruce McNeil said it was “a typical pre-season game – lots of errors, missed tackles and dropped balls” but Kelso were “a tough side who should do well this season.”