Converting revamp to awards joy

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A thriving North Tyneside sports club has scored award success on the national stage.

Whitley Bay Rockcliff RFC has been presented with the prize for Facility Development of the Year at the National Rugby Awards.

The accolade recognises the massive transformation of the club’s facilities over the past five years, particularly the redevelopment of the clubhouse and the addition of floodlighting to both its pitches in time for the start of the 2015-16 season.

Life members Lawrence Fletcher and Martin Page accompanied club secretary Andy Sugden for the trip to the star-studded award ceremony at Twickenham last month.

They collected the gong in front of a 700-strong audience, including England internationals Chris Robshaw, James Haskell and Danny Care, and members of the Rio 2016 Great Britain sevens team, with their silver medals.

Lawrence said: “With this season seeing the club field teams from under-six to Colts, three girls’ teams and three senior men’s teams, Rockcliff has changed massively.

“What we hadn’t changed was the quality of our facilities.

“The clubhouse and floodlights demonstrate that the fabric of the club has caught up with that growth on the playing side.

“It’s great that the club has been recognised with a National Rugby Award.”