Today at Twickenham Rugby Stadium, Fields in Trust Ambassador and rugby legend Sir Clive Woodward OBE celebrated the first sports club to enrol in Centenary Fields. Sutton and Epsom Rugby Football Club
is the first sports club to seek permanent protection for their grounds through Centenary Fields. Sir Clive presented representatives from the club with a commemorative plaque to mark their commitment. Centenary Fields is a unique World War I commemoration programme, run by Fields in Trust in partnership with the Royal British Legion, which provides landowners such as Sutton and Epsom Rugby Club with a way to remember the past but also look to the future by providing future generations with quality space to play.
‘I’m delighted to be here today to mark the first sports club seeking to protect their grounds as Centenary Fields. Grassroots sports grounds are so important to nurturing the sports stars of tomorrow and giving people somewhere to enjoy sport. This Fields in Trust initiative is a unique and fitting way for sports clubs with a connection to World War I to protect their grounds for future generations to enjoy’, Sir Clive Woodward OBE, Fields in Trust Ambassador.
Launched in 2014 by Fields in Trust President HRH The Duke of Cambridge, 73 outdoor spaces so far have signed up to be protected as Centenary Fields. Today’s event marks the start of a focus on all sports clubs that were affected by World War I
. Fields in Trust is encouraging other sports clubs who felt the impact of the War to protect their grounds as a living memorial. Sutton and Epsom RFC, founded in 1881, saw two club members fall at Ypres during World War I.
“We are delighted to see Sutton and Epsom Rugby Club taking this opportunity to protect their sports ground forever. Many sports clubs felt the impact of World War I and Centenary Fields provides them with a way to remember the sacrifices of one hundred years ago but also to protect their grounds for future generations to enjoy sport”, Helen Griffiths, CEO, Fields in Trust.
“The Royal British Legion has always received overwhelming support from the sporting community especially for our Remembrance activities. During the First World War, some sports clubs saw whole teams being called to serve and many men never came home. Our partnership with Fields in Trust on the Centenary Fields initiative offers sports clubs another way to remember those sacrifices, whilst also safeguarding their sports grounds for future generations,” Chris Simpkins, The Royal British Legion's Director General.
“When you read about the sacrifice made by club members 100 years ago, it is only right that our club should honour their memory by ensuring that our playing fields are still there in another 100 years. We are pleased to be involved with Centenary Fields as a fitting way to mark our heritage and the players of 100 years ago”, Kevin Mohr, Honorary Secretary, Sutton & Epsom RFC.
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Contacts: Kathryn Cook, Communications Manager Fields in Trust firstname.lastname@example.org 0207 427 2110; 07951 494 109
The Royal British Legion: