Help us tackle the challenges ahead
When TJs were promoted to the National leagues in 2016 – some 17 years after the ‘merger’ of TRFC and OJRFC and the formation of TJRFC – it was not only a wonderful achievement, but it was landmark occasion which brought into focus the need to improve the Club’s facilities and infrastructure. We would be visiting well established clubs such as Henley, Taunton and Bury St Edmunds all of whom had state of the art infrastructure and clubhouses that adjoined the 1st XV pitch and which were the envy of many.
Consequently, in 2017 the TJ Committee decided to form a new action group charged with the responsibility of raising funds specifically for improvements to the Club’s infrastructure and pavilion and the ‘99’ Club as it is now known, was established to support and facilitate funding to attain the highest standard of rugby and its infrastructure at TJRFC.
The ‘99’ Club is managed by an independent management committee comprising vice-presidents and in 2017 a fund-raising campaign was launched which, subsequently, enabled the Club in its first year to expend some £16k on the installation of the main pitch-side railings, a floodlight upgrade to allow for 3pm KOs in the winter and a donation towards the cost of the use of the 3G all-weather pitch at Judd School which is a facility used by all sections of the Club.
Fast forward to 2022 and the ‘99’ Club has been able to continue its support of TJs with over £60k donated to TJRFC to date supporting projects that have included a new scrum machine, hardstanding around the main pitch, new blinds for the Clubhouse and Covid 19 compliance as well as being able to continue contributing towards the rental of the 3G pitch.
We are currently playing in National 2 East – level 4 of the RFU pyramid and, in conjunction with Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council, the Club are about to embark on the drainage improvement project on the area of ground immediately in front of the clubhouse: this project represents the second stage in improving the surface between the clubhouse and main pitch and it will improve the spectator/match day experience as the conditions underfoot will be a lot drier.
TJRFC also have a number of significant projects under consideration at the moment including a clubhouse balcony extension, changing room refurbishment and a website upgrade and it is likely that we will be supporting these in some shape or form once they have the ‘green light’. On completion, these would more closely align our facilities and infrastructure with spectator expectations at this level and other National league clubs.
But, to deliver these improvements, the ‘99’ Club needs to become a lot bigger and that is where you come in! The current membership can take great pride in what has been achieved to date which in turn makes us confident in our ability to continue to deliver funds for improvements provided we are successful in increasing our membership. We need to grow from our current level of 28 members who, in the main, contribute £50 per month by standing order or have made ‘one off’ donations.
If you can join us on this rewarding journey then David Carver (07917 195224), Peter Lilley (07710982035) or Feargal Ward (07715 931021) will be pleased to discuss your membership.
TJRFC ‘99’ Club