Abingdon Gymnastics Club has secured £48,381 of Olympic legacy funding from Sport England’s Inspired Facilities Fund.
The Inspired Facilities fund is part of the £135 million Places People Play legacy programme that is bringing the magic of a home Olympic and Paralympic Games into communities across the country. Every sports facility that receives funding will carry the London 2012 Inspire mark – celebrating the link to the Games.
The project intends to install a foam pit and associated gymnastics equipment into their recently expanded building. The main part of this involves digging a large hole in the floor and filling it with foam blocks to allow safe and fun skill development for gymnasts of all ages and abilities.
Sport England’s Chair, Richard Lewis, said: “This investment will create will be a fantastic sporting legacy for Berinsfield. This fund has really hit the mark with sports clubs in Oxfordshire. It shows we’re offering the legacy that people want for their local community. For hundreds of clubs and tens of thousands of people, 2012 will be the year their local sports facilities got better.”
Abingdon Gymnastics Club Chair, Sue Moulster, said: “This funding provides a fantastic opportunity for us to continue developing our facility into one of the best in the South Region. It means that the hundreds of gymnasts of all ages and abilities that use our Club each week will be able to enjoy learning new skills in a safe and enjoyable environment.”
Local MP, John Howell, said: “I am delighted that Sport England has decided to invest almost £50,000 into Abingdon Gymnastics Club. It is wonderful to have a facility such as this based in Berinsfield and this important funding will help to develop it further. The club is used by people near and far week by week and this will be a great boost to them. With London 2012 just around the corner, I am sure this project can act as a catalyst to encourage more people of all ages to engage in sporting activities whilst also providing numerous benefits to the community at large.”
The project is one of 350 local community sports groups who have been offered a total of £17.4 million in Olympic legacy funding through the Inspired Facilities Fund.
The investments announced today will breathe new life into tired facilities that can be unattractive to sports participants, 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.
Minister for Sport and the Olympics, Hugh Robertson MP, said: “We want to use the Olympic and Paralympics this summer to inspire a generation to get involved in sport across the country. This is why as part of the £135 million Places People Play legacy programme we invited community sports clubs to apply for funding to upgrade their facilities.”
Inspired Facilities has been designed to be as simple and accessible as possible for potential applicants, with a shorter form and a catalogue of ready-made options to choose from. This is the first of five funding rounds of Inspired Facilities; the second round opened on 1 February 2012, offering hundreds more local groups the chance to bid for a further £10 million of funding.
Places People Play is being delivered by Sport England. We are working in partnership with the British Olympic Association (BOA) and the British Paralympic Association (BPA) 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.”
The announcement was welcomed by the Local Government Association. Cllr Chris White, Chair of its Culture, Tourism and Sport Board, said: “In spite of budget pressures, councils are striving to keep supporting local sports clubs and want to work with them in creating a lasting and meaningful Olympic and Paralympic legacy. This much-needed funding will hopefully act as a catalyst to further strengthen local partnerships between councils and sports clubs and get more people playing sport.”