Saints appoint new female chair as they look to the future

21 Oct 2020 00:20 | Devon RFU

DEVON Merit Table side St Columba & Torpoint have appointed their first female chair as they look to the future.

Ellie Stentiford was voted into the important role at their recent AGM, with the Saints making changes to their board after successfully applying for charity status.

The club’s move to become a charity is to help them raise money to build a community clubhouse at a proposed new home.

St Columba & Torpoint are set to move within the next few years from the council-owned Defiance Field, which is earmarked for commercial development, to a new site owned by the Antony Estate next to the Trevol Business Park.

The Saints want their new home to become a real hub for the community, but to make that happen they want a build a new modern clubhouse.

The Devon RFU affiliated club were also keen to make their board more diverse.

“We have now got nearly a 50-50 split on the main club committee and on the youth committee,” said secretary Paul Stentiford. “And quite a few of our golden roles are now taken up by females.”

He added: “We have also been granted charity status which means so much for fundraising.

“We are a small club trying to achieve a big dream.”

That dream, according to Stentiford, not only includes having an impressive new home but also have a full complement of teams from senior men’s and women’s down to youth boys and girls.

“I think if we get new facilities people will come,” he said. “It is what this community needs – and we need it sooner rather than later.”

Conditional planning permission to build a new rugby club and multi-sports facility, including a clubhouse, parking and two pitches was approved by Cornwall Council in July.

However, the Saints believe it will probably be two-and-a-half years before everything is in place for them to move to their new home.

“The main driving force is probably the pitch,” said Stentiford. “The land has to be drained and the pitch laid and left for 12 months, but we also have to find the funding for the clubhouse.”

The club have been grateful to former chairman Marcus Matthews who has helped push the project over the last few years, along with other club officials.