UCLan students scrum down at Hoppers
Preston Grasshoppers is new home for University rugby union, archery and squash
The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has strengthened its relationship with Preston Grasshoppers RFC by making Lightfoot Green its new home for rugby union training and matches.
All of UCLan’s men’s and women’s rugby union teams will play their BUCS League fixtures at Hoppers, including utilising the state of the art 4G AstroTurf usually reserved for the Grasshoppers men’s first team, and enjoying post-match hospitality with visiting teams in the Club’s bar and lounge.
The players will also receive free membership to the Club, allowing them to play for Preston Grasshoppers alongside their University team.
"We’ve been made to feel really welcome and can’t wait to continue to build our links between University rugby and that of Preston Grasshoppers."— Katie Sanderson, UCLan women's rugby union player
Katie Sanderson, Vice President of Activities for UCLan Students’ Union (SU), also plays for the UCLan women’s rugby union team. She said: “It’s great to be able to use the facilities of such a well-established local club. We’ve been made to feel really welcome and can’t wait to continue to build our links between University rugby and that of Preston Grasshoppers.”
The move marks another milestone in UCLan’s long-standing association with the rugby club, with students already gaining coaching, first aid and journalism experience through Hoppers.
Preston Grasshoppers’ General Manager Richard Ellis said: “We are delighted to continue and enhance our long-running relationship with UCLan.
"We are delighted to continue and enhance our long-running relationship with UCLan."— Preston Grasshoppers’ General Manager Richard Ellis
“We already have students gaining valuable first aid experience with our mini-junior rugby section on a Sunday, and we have journalism students covering matches for us too. We hope the students enjoy coming to Preston Grasshoppers and come along at other times to socialise and enjoy a first team match."
In addition, UCLan’s archery and squash teams will also make Grasshoppers their new home and make use of the Club’s multipurpose rifle range and squash courts.
Dr Adrian Ibbetson, Director of Sport at UCLan, said: “We’re really excited to extend our already successful relationship with Preston Grasshoppers. It means our students can not only utilise the Club’s excellent facilities for their University home matches, they can also train with and play for a Club with an excellent reputation for talent development.”
UCLan will provide a shuttle service for students from the Preston Campus to Lightfoot Green on training and match days.