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Former mayor walks hundreds of miles to rebuild Keswick rugby club building

Caption, Alan Dunn hasn’t played the sport since his school days but says his family are “familiar with rugby”

  • Writer, John Bowness
  • Role, BBC Radio Cumbria

A former mayor has raised almost £6,000 for a new rugby club building by touring Cumbria’s 20 rugby clubs.

Alan Dunn said his planned route was 259 miles (417 km) but he actually covered just over 400 miles (644 km) in 29 days.

Keswick Rugby Trust said the £2m project aims to build a new, flood-proof clubhouse with “outstanding facilities for the community” after the old clubhouse was no longer fit for purpose.

Mr Dunn said he was keen to help out because his family were “enthusiastic about rugby”, despite not having played rugby since his school days in Kendal.

He said his wife Heather had been a first aider at Keswick Rugby Club for more than 20 years.

“All three of my sons played rugby; John was captain for four years. My daughter Katy coached the under-16s and my 15-year-old grandson plays for Keswick Rugby Team. The family are passionate about rugby.”

‘Small’ building

Keswick Rugby Trust said the clubhouse, built in 1958, was designed to house one men’s team but there are now 16 teams catering for players aged between three and 60.

“It has now reached a point where the 180+ senior male and female players and 200+ junior male and female players no longer fit into the building and urgently need a new, suitably designed facility,” it said.

Caption, Mr Dunn said his walk took longer as he tried to avoid the wet weather

At each location he visited, Mr. Dunn met with a club representative and shook hands to officially acknowledge his arrival.

Speaking to BBC Radio Cumbria, the teenager said he walked further between the clubs than he had originally planned because he struggled to follow the exact route without draining his phone battery and at one point he had to turn back to avoid hitting a herd of cows.

Because he chose his days carefully, his walk took longer than he had anticipated.

“I just wanted to walk in the nice weather,” he said.

“I don’t walk on rainy days because I like to see things.”

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