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Cash has athletes jumping for joy

Youngsters at a popular sports club have an extra spring in their step thanks to UK Power Networks.

From Press releases - 15 July 2015 12:00 AM

Cash has athletes jumping for joy.jpg

Youngsters at a popular sports club have an extra spring in their step thanks to UK Power Networks.

The company, which delivers electricity to 8.1 million properties across London, the South East and East Anglia, has just donated £250 to the junior athletics section of Folkestone Running Club.

The cash boost came from UK Power Networks’ Team Sport Award scheme and was the result of an application from employee Robert Burke, a senior projects designer who is based at Maidstone.

It’s the second time Robert has been successful in applying to the scheme. He said: “It’s brilliant news. This money is very important to us and makes a real difference. The company gave us a donation a couple of years ago and now we’ve been awarded another – and we couldn’t be more pleased.

“We try to keep costs down so as many children as possible can come to the club. We have to pay to hire a hall and their subs cover that. Equipment is very expensive but this grant means we can buy some good quality new items.”

Robert became involved with the club, which meets several times a week at The Three Hills sports centre in Folkestone, nearly three years ago when he started taking his children Ellie, ten, and Harvey, nine. It’s a real family affair as his wife Sam has also helps out on club nights.

He said: “At first I was just a keen parent but then I was asked if I wanted to help out and now I’m a coach. The club has grown really fast. When I started we had about 20 children and now we have more than 150 up to U13’s.

“Now we take part in competitions once a month against different clubs all over Kent as part of Kent Young Athletes League. We are going to put the money towards a gazebo to use as our base when we go to these meetings.”

Pat Hanys, founder of the athletics section of the club, said: “Awards like this are invaluable in helping us get more equipment. As the children are improving we are having to update to more advanced implements.”

The Team Sport Award scheme is designed to encourage staff to volunteer in the community and is aimed at promoting healthy living, teamwork and development of sporting opportunities.

Hundreds of community and sports groups have benefited from grants since the scheme was set up. Last year £11,250 was donated to sporting groups connected to UK Power Networks’ staff.