Gilfach Goch RFC is already winning, despite the season only just getting underway, after receiving £45,000 of funding from a south Wales renewable energy company.
The club, which has been running from its ground at Welfare Park for the past 126 years, has received the vital funds from local energy company, Pennant Walters, which has provided a much needed boost to the club, its members and the local community.
As well as sponsoring the senior section’s 2016/17 season, the money has allowed the forty-five junior team members to face their opposition in style after the purchase of waterproof tops for match day wear.
But it’s not just kit that’s been purchased. A large sum of the funding has gone towards solving an issue that the club has been faced with for years.
Darren Hughes, club secretary at Gilfach Goch RFC, explains:
“Due to our physical location we are lucky to be surrounded by stunning landscapes, but with that comes the issue of animals causing havoc to the pitches, let alone the health issues they pose to our players.
“We have long been trying to raise enough money to put up fencing to stop animals from roaming onto our pitches. We are extremely lucky to have received a considerable amount of money from Pennant Walters to help solve the problem.”
The club has now erected the fencing and is also planning to install specialist benches to facilitate disabled spectator viewing. The junior teams have also received a boost after Pennant Walters stepped in to cover the charges for using local indoor training facilities during the winter months after the previous funding was withdrawn.
“We are in a small area of the Rhondda but we have over 400 members – the Club is a real community facility.
“This money has been a lifeline and we are delighted that it has allowed us to make long-term improvements to our facilities – something that will benefit players and spectators for years to come. We can’t thank Pennant Walters enough and we hope it stands us in good stead for the remainder of the season.”
Pennant Walters managing director Dale Hart said:
“Our wind energy project community funds exists to make a difference to the local communities in which we work. There is no better example than Gilfach Goch RFC and we are delighted to have been able to help them better their facilities.
“Community facilities can often face a hard task of making improvements for the long term benefit due to funding issues and we are happy to have been able to help. We wish everyone involved with Gilfach Goch RFC the very best for the season.”
Pennant Walters operates two new wind farms in the Gilfach Goch and Blackmill areas, Pant y Wal in the county of Bridgend, and Fforch Nest, which straddles the border of Bridgend and Rhondda Cynon Taf. The two sites have a total of 21 turbines producing 53 megawatts of clean electricity – enough to power the equivalent of 25,000 homes.