People of all ages in Rugby Town can look forward to decades of sport after Rugby Town Junior FC secured £50,000 from Sport England’s Protecting Playing Fields Olympic legacy fund.
The investment will see major improvements to the pitches at Kilsby Lane, enabling the club to set up new teams and increase participation for all at the site
Sport England’s Chair, Richard Lewis, said: “This playing field will be a lasting sporting legacy beyond the 2012 Games for Rugby Town, where generations will enjoy their first experience of sport.”
The announcement came as Sport England invited more local groups to bring the 2012 legacy to life in their area by bidding for support for a local playing field through the second £2 million round of Protecting Playing Fields.
In round one, over £2 million of National Lottery funding has been offered to sports clubs and local groups to bring disused playing fields back into use, improve existing sites or create new sports pitches. Protecting Playing Fields is part of the Places People Play legacy programme to bring the inspiration and magic of a home Olympic and Paralympic Games into communities all over the country.
Brian Crinigan of Rugby Town Junior FC said: “Rugby Town JFC are delighted with the grant awarded by Sport England to improve the playing surfaces at Kilsby Lane. This grant will mean the formation of new teams and increased participation for all at the site. It will also enhance the current facilities making the venue a Community Hub for Football.”
The announcement was welcomed by local MP, Mark Pawsey, who said: “I was delighted to learn of the grant awarded to Rugby Town Junior FC by Sport England. Having visited the club on a number of occasions I have seen first-hand the great facilities it has to offer.
Sport fosters positives attitudes and provides a positive channel for young people’s energies. I know that the dedicated team at Rugby Town Junior FC will use the grant money to improve the already excellent facilities at the club for the benefit of Rugby’s young people.”
The playing field will also become a Queen Elizabeth II Field after agreeing to dedicate their playing field in “perpetuity”. This is thanks to a partnership with Fields in Trust (FIT) which is running the Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge as part of the programme to mark the Diamond Jubilee and the London 2012 Olympics.
Alison Moore-Gwyn, Chief Executive of Fields in Trust said: “This fantastic investment into grassroots facilities in England will help to ensure that neighbourhoods can participate in sporting activities at all levels for years to come. We are delighted to see that this playing field will also be protected in perpetuity as part of the permanent legacy that the Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge will create in tribute to the Diamond Jubilee and the 2012 Olympics.”
By simplifying the application process and reducing the technical expertise required to bid, Sport England has opened up this funding to groups that haven’t previously received public money. Almost half the successful bidders (23) were first-time applicants.
Protecting Playing Fields builds on the work Sport England already does to safeguard playing fields as a statutory consultee on all planning applications affecting a sports playing field.