£2.47 million Olympic legacy for South West sports clubs
The lifetime of a community swimming pool in Torquay has been extended and its running costs reduced thanks to £150,000 of Olympic legacy funding from Sport England. The pool in Plainmoor is a vital local facility used by 16 local schools as well as disabled and non-disabled swimmers from the community.
The project is one of 46 across the South West celebrating today after being offered investment from the Inspired Facilities Fund – part of the Places People Play legacy programme. All the facilities will carry the London 2012 Inspire mark – celebrating the link to the Games.
Even more local sports clubs could benefit as Sport England launched another £10 million funding round of Inspired Facilities.
Sport England’s Chair, Richard Lewis, said:
“With just 10 days to go until the Olympics, it is fantastic to be giving sports clubs in the South West even more reasons to celebrate.
“Thanks to these investments, many thousands of people can look forward to first-class sports facilities on their doorstep.”
The investments announced today will breathe new life into tired facilities that can be unattractive to sports participants and difficult to maintain and run. Grants have also been offered to convert existing buildings into venues that are suitable for grassroots sport and to allow local clubs to buy the facilities they use.
Responding to strong demand from sports clubs, the budget for the latest round of Inspired Facilities has been doubled – an increase made possible by an increase of £15 million to Sport England’s Olympic legacy programme thanks to strong sales of lottery tickets.
Sport and Olympics Minister Hugh Robertson said:
“Hosting the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games give us an opportunity to put sport in the spotlight and encourage more people to participate. That’s exactly what Places People Play is about. It’s already having a positive impact on grassroots sport in communities up and down the country and the additional £15 million will spread that further, helping to leave a real sports legacy long after the Games.”
The investments in the South West include:
- £50,000 to help Clevedon Sailing Club in North Somerset modernise its changing facilities, improve its equipment storage and enhance its social facilities.
- £40,000 to help revitalise an existing skate park in Cirencester with new floodlighting and a ‘street style’ skating facility
- £43,775 to Marlborough Amateur Boxing Club in Wiltshire to renovate its sports pavilion.
- £50,000 to Pentewan Sands Sailing Clubin Pentewan, Cornwall, to redevelop its clubhouse and provide new changing facilities and equipment storage accessible to disabled and non-disabled users
Places People Play is being delivered by Sport England. We are working in partnership with the British Olympic Association and the British Paralympic Association with the backing of The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) and the London 2012 Inspire mark.
LOCOG Chair, Seb Coe, said:
“This is a fantastic funding project that will deliver a real legacy from the London 2012 Games. It will provide a whole range of sporting opportunities for young people through improved facilities and will I hope inspire them to take up sport.”
As well as reinforcing the roof of Torquay Community Swimming Pool, the £150,000 grant will be used to install more fuel-efficient ventilation and heating systems to make the pool cheaper to run.
Volleyball international and beach volleyball pioneer Denise Austin today visited Torquay Community Swimming Pool to present a cheque to many of the South West projects benefitting from the fund. She said:
“As someone who has been passionate about the sport I love for over 25 years, it’s a real privilege for me to come here today and meet so many people who are making sport happen in their local communities. By improving sports clubs and creating modern, efficient facilities, we will persuade more people to adopt lifelong sporting habits.”
Torbay Council’s Executive Lead for sport in the Bay, Cllr Robert Excell, said:
“This is a fantastic amount of money for a valuable and well-supported community facility and we are delighted for those who have been working so hard to secure its future.
“The council fully recognises that it is so important for the community to have the opportunity to learn to swim from a young age, particularly in an area where so many residents enjoy our beaches and clean bathing waters. There are many youngsters and young at heart today who have this essential life skill thanks to Swim Torquay and long may it continue.”
A number of projects that are benefiting disadvantaged young people have been awarded additional funding from Sport England’s partner for Inspired Facilities, the Thomas Cook’s Children’s Charity. Among them is Callington Community College, which is receiving £5,000 for new sports equipment.
Pete Constanti, Chairman of the Thomas Cook Children’s Charity, said:
“In Olympic year, we’re really pleased to be able to award funding to these projects to help improve their facilities as they continue encouraging more children to get involved in sport, who might otherwise not be able to. We’ve been overwhelmed with the number of applications for our grants and the fund, which highlights the amazing work being done by volunteers in sports clubs up and down the country.”
In addition to the £2.47m announced today, sports playing fields and facilities in the South West had already received £7,849,000 through Sport England’s Places People Play legacy programme. In addition, 8,318 young people in the South West have got into sport through Sportivate, 1,913 people from the region have been inspired by the Olympics and Paralympics to become a Sport Maker and over 3,600 have signed up to do a sporting challenge for charity through Gold Challenge.
Sport England’s Active People Survey shows that the total number of adults in the South West taking part in sport at least once a week has risen from 1,402,300 in 2005-06, when the Olympic bid was won, to 1,563,300.