The Pride of the Nation

Sleaford Rugby Club.

Sleaford Rugby Club.

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It’s official - Sleaford Rugby Club are the Pride of the Nation.

The club received the accolade, supported by the Rugby Football Union and NatWest, after reaching the national final - and impressing the judges with the work they do in the community.

“Just to be nominated was fantastic, but to win the whole thing was amazing,” said Sleaford RFC fundraising committee member Tim Schofield.

Claiming the title means that the club will now have £2,000 to spend on updating their Ruskington Road home, from improving the changing rooms to modernising the bar area.

And to top things off, a yet-to-be named England rugby legend will also be visiting the club as part of its Rugby Force weekend on June 27 and 28 - where volunteers will chip in to spruce up the David Williams Pavilion.

The club will be putting the star through his paces one of those days, expected to be the Sunday, but there will also be time for a question and answer session, as well as a chance for fans - both young and old - to meet the special guest.

Sleaford RFC progressed to the national final as winners of one of the four regional sections, being named Pride of the Midlands in the process.

This was a straight vote section, but for the final - which also saw Ellesmere port RFC, Oakmeadians RFC and Shoreham RFC in the running - each club had to submit 200 words about why they should be crowned the Pride of the Nation.

Sleaford impressed the judges after outlining what they give back to the area - including their autism fundraising day, offering their pitches for school use and raising cash for local good causes.

“We’re not the wealthiest club about, but we like to give something back,” added Tim.

“We would also like to thank everyone from the local community for getting behind us and voting for us.

“This has really put the town on the map.

“It’s great to have this honour, especially in a year when the World Cup will be held in the country. We want to make our clubhouse the best place for fans to watch the games.”