Cash helps keep Wealden healthy

Players at Uckfield Cricket Club
Players at Uckfield Cricket Club

Sports clubs are set to benefit from an injection of almost £18,000 from Wealden Community Grant schemes.

The aim is help involve more and more people in sports activities across the district.

Among the beneficiaries of the scheme are the Hailsham-based Jump trampoline club (£1,000) which caters for children and adults, Crowborough and Rotherfield Jitsu Club (£500) and Maresfield Cricket Club, who will be using their £750 grant to buy a bowling machine. Crowborough Runners’ £500 award will go towards coaching and track hire for extra Saturday sessions.

And Uckfield Cricket Club will be using their £1,000 grant for coaching and to organise a fun taster day in June for a range of sports including football, tennis and rugby.

Wealden’s Capital Grants help contribute to the cost of building and other work to maintain and improve sports premises. In this year’s Capital Grant programme, Crowborough Rugby Club has received £2,000 to help with new drainage to open up pitches for women’s and girls’ teams to play throughout the year.

Crowborough Rugby Club chairman Graham Callard said: “Following the improvements to our clubhouse we are looking to introduce more ladies’ and girls’ teams to the club. We need to maximise the use of our pitches, but this can only take place if we carry out the necessary pitch drainage. Thank you very much Wealden District Council for helping us make this happen and opening up the sport to many more people.”

As part of its drive to encourage women’s rugby, Crowborough RFC is hosting an inter-county Sussex Ladies against Surrey Ladies XV match on Sunday, May 4. Jarvis Brook Sports Club’s £1,000 will go towards the provision of safety netting. Both Capital Grants and Smaller Community Grants have to be match funded, but this can be entirely ‘in-kind’ through volunteer time.

Cabinet member for health, Cllr Claire Dowling said: “Sport plays a key role in making life better for people in Wealden through healthy activities and meeting people. We have many sports clubs and often resources are limited. Applications for both small grants and capital grants were heavily oversubscribed this year. It’s important we support our sports clubs to enable them to provide new equipment and improved facilities to allow more people to enjoy sporting activities and the health benefits they bring.”

Recent figures produced by Sport England show that nearly 40 per cent of Wealden residents aged 16 or over are actively involved in sport or recreation for at least 30 minutes a week, making them among the most sporting in Sussex