Rugby club’s training base opens before season restart
PUBLISHED: 06:55 11 August 2020
A state-of-the-art rugby training facility has opened in a village.
Bristol Bears’ training base at Kingcott Farm, between Failand and Abbots Leigh, has opened in time for the Gallagher Premiership season’s return to play this weekend, after the season was halted due to coronavirus.
Players and staff are using the site for stage two of rugby union’s return to play training process.
Although the base is yet to be completed fully, the Bears’ chief executive Mark Tainton said it provides ‘a massive boost’ for the club.
Speaking on the club’s website, Mr Tainton said: “When you drive down the long driveway, through the trees and get the first sight of the building, it takes you aback.
“I’ve been blown away and I’ve been working on it every week for the past year. For the players to see it finished, or nearly finished, it’s amazing; they’re delighted, and they were blown away too.
“It’s a massive boost to everyone involved in the club that we’ve come to this new facility and in fairness to the main construction company, Beard, they’ve done a tremendous job.
“I’d also like to thank Steve May from Capita, who’s been on the job with me for the past year, for his involvement – he’s been superb.”
The 23-acre site includes a two-storey pavilion with a gym and weight-training area, a medical centre and treatment room, a hydrotherapy room and changing facilities, while the first floor features a team meeting and analysis room, a player breakout room, plus a canteen and kitchen, as well as offices and boardroom space.
Bears were granted planning permission by North Somerset Council to build the training barn in 2017.
Mr Tainton added: “With these facilities, certain pressures come, but I think they’ll embrace that. From what I’ve seen, the players have been very enthused and looking forward to the restart of the season.”
The site is one of a number of sports facilities in the two villages, with Bristol City Football Club, Clifton College Sports Club and Queen Elizabeth Hospital School all applying to the council to expand their facilities in the past three years.
The Bears have boosted their squad with the signings of England international prop Kyle Sinckler and Fijian winger Semi Radradra.
They restart the rugby season third in the table, seven points behind league leaders Exeter with nine games remaining.
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