Tuesday, September 10, 2013
The cricket pitch at Bicton College is to be removed, and replaced by pitches for its expanding rugby programme.
For the past 12 years the pitch has been used by sides from Sidmouth and Exeter cricket clubs, but they have now been asked to leave because of a pressing need for more rugby pitches – with the college now home to the Exeter Chiefs Rugby Academy.
Deputy principal Chris Lorimer said: “We have known for some time that we need more space for our rugby players and more rugby pitches, as we have got the Exeter Chiefs Rugby Academy here and students numbers are going to be increasing, so we need probably two or three or even more pitches.”
Sidmouth Cricket Club said it was disappointed by the move, as it had hoped to return to Bicton in 2015, but Chris says increasing demand for rugby made this impossible.
“We had ongoing discussions with [Sidmouth Cricket Club], the last was in July. Then we had a suggestion that they would forego the ground next year but would come back the year after, but that wasn’t a definite situation.
“Since then course registration has gone very well for rugby and we’ve realised we definitely need to use the space as a rugby pitch.
“It’s not ideal – we like working with all our local partners and can understand their frustration.
“But on the other hand, despite the fact we are a big college we haven’t got much spare space as it’s all Grade I listed land we can’t build on, and we need more pitches for the growing and very popular rugby academy.”