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Suffolk hits £5m sporting jackpot

PUBLISHED: 16:32 19 November 2001 | UPDATED: 15:21 03 March 2010

SPORT in Suffolk has been boosted to the tune of almost £5 million, as part of a £38m regional handout.

The largest-ever, lottery-funded programme to provide sports facilities for schools and the wider community in the eastern region, was launched today by the New Opportunities Fund.

SPORT in Suffolk has been boosted to the tune of almost £5 million, as part of a £38m regional handout.

The largest-ever, lottery-funded programme to provide sports facilities for schools and the wider community in the eastern region, was launched today by the New Opportunities Fund.

The £4,701,000 investment for Suffolk will support the creation of new, and modernisation of existing, indoor and outdoor sports facilities.

The money will also be used to promote sport in the community, and wider use of the facilities.

Education authorities are currently planning how to spend the cash, and consulting with schools and sporting organisations.

The county will concentrate on funding sports and physical education initiatives.

Suffolk was awarded the fourth highest grant – after Essex which received £9,068,00, Norfolk which was given £6,358,000, and Hertfordshire which gained £5,684,000.

Baroness Jill Pitkeathley , chairwoman of the New Opportunities Fund –which is the biggest distributor of National Lottery money – said: "The New Opportunities for PE and Sport programme funding will substantially change the face of sporting provision in our schools and communities.

"In providing many more young people, particularly in disadvantaged areas, with the opportunity to engage in a range of physical activities, we can help build a more inclusive and healthier society."

Five-times world karate champion Geoff Thompson MBE, the newest member of the NOF board, added: "I know about the power of sport to motivate and engage young people as well as the discipline, self-esteem and confidence it can instil."

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