Competition is set to resume this Thursday at the South Sound Rugby Club, and athletes will be graced with fresh upgrades to the facility upon their arrival. It comes as local rugby enthusiast Paul Deegan, set out over the COVID-19 lockdown to give the clubhouse and it’s surroundings a revamp that has been necessary for the past 16 years.
“Our seating gallery, or bleachers as we call them were extensively damaged during hurricane Ivan and they were kind of patch together, so we took a look and replace them,” said Deegan.
Deegan recruited some 40 young men and women for the renovations and did everything from using a power tools, screwing and nailing lumber, painting, trimming trees, wheelbarrowing debris and several other repairs to the outside structures.
“So basically our young men and women between the ages of 18 and 20, some of them in school here and some of them in school overseas…have been back since March in lockdown,” said Deegan. “Of that, [they were] about 25 boys and 15 girls, 95% of them Caymanian. They worked from 8:30am to 12:30pm, Monday to Friday. We always had a wellness Wednesday so they didn’t work on Wednesday except for the actual staff at the rugby club.”
According to Deegan, the project took roughly three and a half weeks to complete. He said during that time, everyone abided by the COVID-19 safety measures.
“Everyone had to wear a mask and keep social distancing to the best, because you know kids and teenagers, all they wanna do is talk,” said Deegan. “So, we were trying to instill some discipline into them, and remind them to stay the 6 feet and it worked very well.”
While Deegan and his volunteers have already contributed to the improvement of the union facilities, he says they are still actively trying to finish the next phase before competition resumes.
“We’re doing some internal repairs, renovations but that is being done by a local builder,” said Deegan. “But the kids are still there cleaning up the dust, shoveling the rubble and getting the place ready for hopefully next week for their first game of rugby.
As for the cost to repair the perimeter fencing and bleachers; “Probably about $3000 worth of lumber,” said Deegan. Action in the local rugby circuit will kickoff with the Corporate Touch League, which is scheduled to start on Thursday (July 30th).