Paul Thorburn gives his support to Go Underhill

Paul Thorburn gives his support to Go Underhill

Former Wales rugby captain, Paul Thorburn, who is now business development consultant working is South Wales, has expressed his support for the Go Underhill development.

Paul and his family have longstanding connections with the Park: as a player, as a parent and as a local resident.

Speaking about his links with Underhill Park and his reasons for supporting the development, Paul said:

“I am delighted to be giving my support to the Go Underhill development, as the venue has played such an important part in my family’s life, not just for me, but also for my brother and our families.

 

“My first experience of visiting Underhill Park was as a fresh faced 18 year old, just out of school, when in 1981, along with my older brother Andy, we played for South Gower RFC against Mumbles 2nd XV.

 

“Although I cannot recall the actual outcome of the game, it marked the start of what became many visits to the facility, either as players, or as parents standing on the touchline cheering on our kids.

“During my own playing career, I also played at the ground for Neath RFC team in 1987, to celebrate Mumbles RFC’s centenary year, another keenly contested fixture. I have, on many occasions, enjoyed the festival atmosphere of the Cracker 7’s weekend and watched the occasional cricket match as well.

Match programme kept by Simon Evans, Chair of Mumbles RFC

“What may come as a surprise to many is that my parental touchline encounters were not in support of my son or daughter on the rugby pitch, but in fact it was as they progressed up the soccer tree for Mumbles Rangers, a sport that gave them, and us as parents, so many enjoyable moments and created friendships that have stayed with us.

 

“Regardless of which sport, facilities like Underhill Park did and must continue to play a pivotal role in the shaping of people’s lives, so we need to ensure that they are fit for purpose and provide the necessary facilities for future generations to enjoy and use.

 

“In addition to the enjoyment of the sporting encounters, when living just above the Park on Southward Lane, it provided the ideal location for fitness training and also many early morning dog walks. So, like many families in the locality, Underhill Park has played an integral part in shaping lives and has provided the ideal backdrop for sporting and leisure activities, regardless of ability and interest.”

Chair of Mumbles Community Association, Simon Tse, said:

“We’re delighted that Paul has come forward to express his support for Go Underhill and it’s great to hear about the role the Park has played for him and his family over many years. Although we know the Park is much loved and well used, stories from people like Paul, who have played an important role in Welsh sport, really bring that home.

 

“Support for the Go Underhill development is really coming together now and we’re confident that we will be putting these plans into action before too long. It will be fantastic to see the improved facilities there, ensuring a great future for existing users and creating new opportunities which the whole community can enjoy.”

Mumbles Rangers Football Club make improvements for the future

Mumbles Rangers Football Club make improvements for the future

Mumbles Rangers FC are preparing for a strong future for the club by making improvements to their main pitch, in front of their club house in Underhill Park.

The improvements will come from feeding, weeding and lifting the pitch to encourage grass growth as well as levelling some key areas of the pitch. To meet with the playing ambitions of the club’s senior team, semi-permanent barriers and dugouts will be installed pitch-side. These will be moveable to accommodate the general park use and cricket season.

In order to be ready in time for the new season, the area around the pitch has already been cordoned off and work has begun.

Mumbles Rangers FC is aiming to build a home fortress and to provide the entire club with a quality pitch on which to play important games during the season. It is hoped that the improved pitch, combined with the club’s 1st team (pictured) entering the new West Wales Premier League next season, will provide a pathway for the entire junior section, encouraging them to aspire to play for the senior team in the future.

The club are also hoping that the general community will come along and enjoy watching good quality sport on the weekends. Teas and coffees together with snacks will be available from the club and new bespoke merchandise will be available, with a new leisurewear catalogue launching at the start of the new season.

Chair of Mumbles Rangers, Mike Parkin, said:

“This is a very exciting time for the club future and this project would not have been possible without the funding provided by our vice presidents and we thank them very much.

 

“The vice presidents of our club contribute £20 a year into the VP fund and have done for many years. The money we collate from this fund goes towards the general maintenance of our facilities, including the ‘Billy Johns Clubhouse’, and provides security and a future for the club. We are very thankful to each and every vice president that has and is still contributing. We are always looking for more vice presidents and those interested are encouraged to contact our VP’s secretary, Fraser Gardner, on vp@mumblesrangers.co.uk. The donation is £20 per year and this goes a long way to helping the club and community.”

The Mumbles Rangers main pitch improvements will hopefully soon be followed by work starting on key elements of the stage 1 Go Underhill developments. These include new changing rooms for the sports pitches and new public toilets, both of which are being underwritten by Mumbles Community Council.

It is also hoped that a new community hub and café and a new all-weather pitch can be built on site, subject to additional grant funding being secured.

Major Boost for Go Underhill

Major Boost for Go Underhill

The Go-Underhill project, which will deliver brand new changing rooms and an all-weather pitch, has taken a huge step towards becoming a reality.

Mumbles Community Council (MCC) has decided to enter into a Community Partnership with Mumbles Community Association (MCA), the organisation driving forward the development of Underhill Park, to make sure that the much needed new facilities in the Park can get underway.

Under the Community Partnership agreement, MCA will continue to apply for funding from grants for sports and community facilities, as well as raising money from local businesses, park users and individuals, but MCC will underwrite any deficit in the funding needed, up to a maximum of £1.2m over the next three years.

The decision by MCC recognises that the development of facilities in Underhill Park is a key part of the Council’s community plan, which was developed following extensive analysis of local needs and consultation with the community. It will enable MCA to progress with firm timescales for getting the work done, with MCC playing a full part in delivering these much needed community facilities.

The new Chair of the Mumbles Community Council, Councillor Martin O’Neill said:

“The Council is fully committed to making this happen as we know that the development of Underhill Park will make a big difference to our local community.

 

“MCC has a number of exciting new plans for the area Including the skatepark and Langland tennis courts and in relation to taking the Underhill plan forward we will be asking for a meeting with Welsh Government Minister for Finance, Rebecca Evans MS, as well as the Football Association for Wales and the Welsh Rugby Union to see if we can consolidate funding streams.”

Under the Agreement, MCA will be supported to deliver many of the core elements of its Stage 1 plans for Underhill Park, including new changing rooms, improvements to the existing pavilion to provide new accessible public toilets, landscaping and, with other grant assistance, an all-weather pitch.

The agreement does not include support for the new community hub and café, which is currently subject to a National Lottery application.

MCA Chair Simon Tse said:

“This is a major break-through in the plans to make Underhill Park a core resource for the community, replacing the dilapidated buildings and bringing new facilities which local people want. We are thrilled that MCC have decided to get so fully behind the scheme, which is a real game changer.

 

“I would like to thank all those people who have freely given their time to help the charity get this far.”

MCA will now progress with appointing architects and engineers to prepare detailed plans and specifications so that tenders can be invited for work to begin on site.

Full details of the plans for Underhill Park can be seen under Plans & Progress and further information relating to MCC’s decision to enter into this partnership agreement can be found at: https://www.mumbles.gov.uk/