The Doha Rugby Football Centre (DRFC) is currently in the planning stages of relocating to a more modern dedicated rugby facility after receiving a land offer from the Qatar Olympic Committee. The decision on the relocation is set to be made by the club’s members in the near future.
Although nothing has been finalised as of yet, the move is likely to take place before the current lease runs out in 2011, with club officials declaring that within a few years, the club is “almost certainly going to say goodbye to its current location.”
“The move is subject to many things, but at the moment we are in the process of creating a development plan,” explained club chairman Howard Bevan, who added “if our plan is approved we will have the right to use the land.”
Plans will also have to be approved by the members at the AGM later this month. Bevan said surveys will be taken to determine what the 1,300-strong community group feels is important for the development of DRFC.
However, it is likely that the facility will aim to offer the same amenities as the current site, just at a higher level and with a number of upgrades. For instance, it is likely that the new ground will house at least two rugby pitches, making it possible to organise “larger-scale tournaments” here in Qatar.
And although the Arabian Gulf Rugby Football Union is set to be disbanded next season, Bevan claimed there will be some sort of inter-Gulf rugby competitions introduced in its place and so the new venue will provide more facilities for both home and away teams and supporters for those matches.
Certain queries have been raised by members, and the distance away from the current ground is obviously the most common worry.
Whereas DRFC presently offers a destination in the middle of town where people can travel to easily midweek and at the weekends, the new ground will confront visitors with something of a trek – one that might just put a few people off.
But the development of Qatar may mean that in a couple of years, the location is not quite so far away from where people are living, and it would seem that DRFC simply cannot afford to reject the offer of such a large piece of land.
Committee member Dave Bolton has been given the task of heading up the team in charge of the development, and he explained to Gulf Times that he would be working alongside a number of experts to produce plans for the ground.
“We have had lots of offers of help from members and friends of the club,” he claimed, saying that many of the companies involved have offered their services on a complimentary basis.
Despite the thought of moving provoking an emotional response from many of the club members – some who have been here for large portions of DRFC’s history – the prospect of a new ground with state-of-the-art facilities and more playing pitches is an exciting one, and members and other concerned parties will wait with baited breath to discover the result of the upcoming AGM to determine the future of DRFC.
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