Pontypool RFC is pleased to announce that the objective set by the Target 1,000 campaign has been achieved.
The target was reached on October 12th 2013 when 1,050 attended the Pontypool RFC v Ebbw Vale RFC fixture at Pontypool Park.
The Target 1,000 campaign was launched by The Free Press earlier this summer with the aim of raising the attendance of Pontypool RFC home fixtures to 1,000 fans and beyond - not only to further develop Pontypool RFC, but to also maintain and enhance the positive impact that this benchmark can have on local businesses and organisations situated in the town of Pontypool as a whole.
The following is a message from Pontypool RFC Corporate Director, Ben Jeffreys:
Everybody at Pontypool RFC is delighted that an attendance of over 1,000 has been achieved so early into the season and for that we must thank everybody who not only attended Saturday's game, but also to those who supported the club through what has been a whirlwind twelve months. It was a day many have been dreaming of for so long; it was an incredibly special and emotional moment to see so many people huddled together enjoying a fantastic game of rugby.
I think the attendance figure represents how Pontypool RFC is a club that is moving forward. We have stuck strictly to our plan of initially stabilising the club and have acted accordingly to progressively improve its structure both on and off the field. I think it is crucial that we do not deviate from our operational plan and remain firmly focused on continuing to improve the club season by season, with the aim of achieving a self-sustainable model that facilitates success on the pitch. This will take time and we all accept that, but it was exciting to see that the progress is tangible.
Absolute credit must go to Mike Hook, Shaun Rees, Emily Buckley, the entire coaching team and our captain, Luke Dyckhoff. Without their dedication to instill a professional culture to the rugby setup, the club would not be where it is today. They have formed a culture that is based on respecting those who built the Pontypool RFC brand and continue to take this club forward, one step at a time. Equally, the squad who represent the club have done so with total professionalism and it is clear that there is a togetherness and a desire to play for the badge. I don't think there was a person who left Pontypool Park feeling that they didn't receive value for money and that shows the progress that has been made from a rugby perspective.
But above all, I was delighted for the club's volunteers as they have stood by the club through its darkest period and without them, the club simply would not function. Their commitment and dedication to ensuring that supporters and guests have a safe and clean environment is second to none. They truly are the lifeblood of Pontypool RFC and we are all very grateful for the sacrifices they make for the club every week. On behalf of the management, coaching staff and squad – we thank you for all you do for this great club.
Moving forward, we hope Saturday's success acts as the catalyst that sees attendances at Pontypool Park continue to rise. It demonstrated that Pontypool RFC and the town still have a key role to play in the Welsh sector of rugby. Every additional supporter who attends a game represents another voice shouting to the rugby world that we are not irrelevant to today’s climate and that we are here to fight for our place in this sport.
So again, thank you to everyone who made Saturday a success. Your support is greatly appreciated and we will continue to strive to take Pontypool RFC forward.