By Matthew Stott
Thursday, January 24, 2013
THE region is celebrating more Games success today after more than £300,000 of Olympic legacy funding was secured to improve key sporting facilities and inspire the next generation.
LONDON 2012 Olympic handball star Louise Jukes, from Ipswich, believes the £300,000 legacy funding will inspire the next generation of youngsters following last summer’s hugely successful Games in the capital.
Jukes, a former Holbrook High School pupil who represented Team GB at the London Olympics, said: “It’s absolutely fantastic news that the region is receiving this funding, especially in different sports and not just one sport.
“That’s what the London Olympics were about for handball and other sports; showcasing different sports to the next generation and hopefully inspiring them to take them up.
“Sport plays an important role in the lives of young people. You develop as a person, make friends, learn how to be sociable, learn how to work together, learn self-discipline – all what you need for the real world.
“And now we are starting to see the effects of the London Olympic legacy and it is great we are actually receiving the money that was promised now.”
Three sporting organisations in Suffolk have secured £287,213 funding from Sport England’s Inspired Facilities fund, part of the £150million Places People Play legacy programme.
Samuel Ward Academy, in Haverhill, is building a gymnastics centre, Debenham Village Hall & Playing Fields Trust will refurbish its four-court sports hall, and University Campus Suffolk, in Ipswich, is developing a multi-purpose outdoor sports area.
Walton & Frinton Yacht Club, in Essex, has also been given a cash injection of £50,000 to build a new clubhouse.
Every sports facility that receives funding will carry the London 2012 Inspire mark – celebrating the link to the Games.
John Clough, director of Suffolk Sport, said: “The new facilities will act as a catalyst for getting more people from communities involved in sport and physical activity.”
The partnership of Haverhill Gymnastics Club and Samuel Ward Sports Leadership Academy will receive £150,000 of funding to build a stand-alone dedicated facility on the academy site.
The project will deliver a fully equipped Olympic gymnastic facility, including foam pits and trampolines, providing the opportunity for its budding young stars to develop.
Samuel Ward Academy principal Howard Lay said: “This is fantastic news and will allow us to work in partnership with a highly successful local gymnastic club to ensure that the Olympic legacy is made real.”
Debenham Village Hall & Playing Fields Trust, based at Debenham Leisure Centre, will use the £39,213 grant to upgrade the lighting throughout the complex to LED technology.
This will enable further improvements to be made to the sporting facilities and activities on offer to the people of Debenham and surrounding villages.
Suzie Morley, chairman of Debenham Sports and Leisure, said: “The improvements to Debenham Sports and Leisure facilities will be welcomed by regular users and encourage more members of our community to use this wonderful centre.”
University Campus Suffolk (UCS) secured £98,000 of Olympic legacy investment to build a major sporting development on Ipswich Waterfront.
UCS will develop an outdoor multi-purpose sports facility next to the James Hehir Building at the Ipswich campus.
Professor Bill Tancred, UCS director of sport and a two-time Olympian, said: “I am absolutely delighted to have secured this investment on behalf of UCS, which will create a lasting sporting legacy for Ipswich and the institution.”
Meanwhile, Walton & Frinton Yacht Club is rebuilding the centre section of the clubhouse with its £50,000 of investment.
As well as function areas and a new kitchen, it will include new male and female toilets, shower and changing rooms and will have a fully accessible shower room which can also be used by families with small children.
Club Commodore Nick Wood said: “We are delighted to have received funding from Inspired Facilities to help us to rebuild our clubhouse and thus achieve our aspirations for the future of our club.”