SWINDON Croquet Club is hoping to host national tournaments after securing £49,478 from Sport England’s Olympic legacy fund.

The group, which has lawns at Moredon Playing Fields, will be using the money to relay their courts to competition standard and fence them off.

The money has come from Sport England’s Inspired Facilities fund which is part of the £135m Places People Play programme set up after the 2012 London Games to foster more participation in sport.

Last year, the club received a £42,622 grant from the same fund, which they used to buy a new clubhouse. As part of that application, they aimed to improve their usage, and met their four-year target in just a year.

Mary Bedells, publicity officer for the club, said: “Due to the success of the new clubhouse we’ve had around 900 people through the door and Sport England welcomed us to make another application, which isn’t very common.

“They said they were really impressed by how professional our bid was and all credit needs to go to Neil Morrison, our treasurer, and John Small, our grants co-ordinator, for all their hard work.

“We are really excited about improving the lawns and we’d hope to host national and regional tournaments in the future thanks to this money as well as keep up our work supporting the community.”

The club, set up in 1985, holds sessions with Swindon’s guide dog association, stroke club and church groups. The organisation hopes that their improved facilities will help them attract more members.

Mary said: “We’ve welcomed an astonishing amount of people over the last year but we only have 30 members and we’d really like to add to those numbers.

“We are delighted to have received this money and we feel proud to be part of the Olympic legacy.”

Nick Bitel, Sport England’s chairman, said: “Two years on from the Olympics, this National Lottery investment is helping us to deliver a lasting sporting legacy for Swindon.

“With investment on offer from our Inspired Facilities fund until 2017, we look forward to supporting many more sports clubs in the south west who play such a vital role in grassroots sport.”

The Inspired Facilities fund has helped 1,300 projects since launching. Every sports facility that receives funding will put up the London 2012 Inspire mark to show that they have been honoured as part of the programme.

Any club that would like to apply for funding can visit www.sportengland.org/ inspiredfacilities and for more information about Swindon Croquet Club visit swindoncroquetclub.org.uk or call 01793 873026.

Sporting cash up for grabs

THE Sport England Inspired Facilities fund is offering grants to clubs, councils and volunteer groups to encourage more people to take part in sport.
Since the 2012 Olympic Games in London, the Inspired Facilities fund, which is part of the £135m

Places People Play programme, has been available. It can be used to renovate old sports areas or buy new equipment.

Those applying need to be not-for-profit groups who have a written constitution and need to show how the money will be spent.

Their membership needs to be fully inclusive, welcoming all sections of the community.

As part of Sport England’s assessment they will judge applications on their need, impact, likely community involvement and if the project will be sustainable.

The money is on offer until 2017 and Sport England will be making their decision on the latest submissions in September with applications needing to be received by June 6.

For more information call the Sport England funding helpline on 08458 508 508 or visit www.sportengland.org