The Colchester Gladiators American Football Club are delighted to announce that they have a new home venue, and will be playing all games at the Corporal Budd VC Gymnasium in Colchester. The sports centre, on Berechurch Road, opened in 2008 and was named in tribute to Corporal Bryan Budd, a member of Colchester’s 3rd Battalion, Parachute Regiment, who was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for acts of gallantry in Afghanistan in 2006.
Having previously been based at Mill Road Playing fields, the Gladiators now make the move to the other side of Colchester, and will welcome all visiting teams from across the south of England to the exceptional venue. The partnership with the military will further establish the Gladiators as a formidable presence in the county’s sporting landscape, providing excellent facilities for the club to develop their training and gameday offer, and look to build a platform for further growth.
With a resurgent junior programme looking to contest a broad schedule in 2017, along with Youth tournaments and a full Senior fixture schedule, it was imperative that the Club take the step to continue to fulfil their own development objectives.
Colchester Gladiators Chairman David Crane said, “this is a tremendously exciting move for the club, and a lot of work has gone into ensuring a smooth transition with significant benefits being realised by our members. With membership growing faster than ever before, the club needed a venue that could grow with us and allow us to continue to offer high quality coaching and sport for all. This partnership with the Garrison will allow us to further our development goals, as we enter into what we hope is a long term arrangement that will ensure that anything is possible for the club as we look to develop a permanent presence, year round in the town”.
Lieutenant Colonel Ciaran Griffin, Commander of Colchester Garrison, said: “Colchester Garrison has excellent sport facilities which are available for local sports clubs and community groups to use, with the income generated re-invested to improve the facilities for the benefit of all. We are delighted to host Colchester Gladiators and wish them the best of luck for the coming season.”
Having recruited well, the club are looking strong as they prepare for the upcoming season, and under new senior Head Coach Luke Box there is much to play for. With many new players vying for starting positions, competition is fierce, and whilst the club have been training hard at the new site for some weeks, all involved are keen to come out of the blocks quickly. Equally in the youth and Junior ranks under renowned Head Coach Matt Roberts-Harbour, a strong body of players will be competing against a wide variety of opponents over the course of the year as the next generation of Gladiators look to make their mark on the national stage.
The Gladiators will commence their 2017 schedule on Sunday 9th April at 2.30pm, where they will host the former European Champions, and multiple British National Champion London Olympians, as both clubs launch their campaign, looking to put their own stamp on the division.