COVENTRY Rugby is looking to use its 150th anniversary to fund and leave a ‘long-term local legacy’, according to the club’s chairman, Jon Sharp.
Coventry has created a 150 Legacy Club, with funds generated from it used to target areas to help them develop and deliver wider benefits to the local community.
These include funding an education-with-sport programme for 16 to 21-year-olds that prepares participants for life in sport and beyond.
The programme will also allow local talent to remain in Coventry.
Coventry Rugby will also look to break down barriers preventing talented players from lower socio-economic backgrounds from pursuing a sport-with-education option.
Community schemes like walking sports programmes for those affected by illnesses such as dementia will also be funded, and rugby and netball academies will be expanded.
And it will invest in small-scale improvement of existing facilities at the Butts Park Arena.
The club has launched a series of events to mark its 1874 founding, with celebratory matches against a handful of invitation teams in the pipeline.
Jon Sharp said: “We understand professional rugby in England is not in a great place and sadly the sport has lost four clubs in the last 12 months but Coventry Rugby is not in that situation.
“Over the last 15 years we have made great progress in turning round a club which between 1995 and 2008 lurched from one disaster to the next.
“We now have a solid business which has benefitted hugely from prudent management and a long period of stability and as a result we have made big strides on the pitch.
“The 150 Legacy Club is not about funding professional rugby – it aims to help our club develop while more importantly also having a positive impact on the lives of young, old and sometimes disadvantaged people in Coventry and Warwickshire.”