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Boosting grassroots sports as funding passes £130,000 mark

If those who claim Olympic gold have one thing in common, it is likely to be that they started in grassroots sport at a local club or training facility.

From News & press - 5 August 2021 12:00 AM

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Nurturing young talent costs money and the country’s leading electricity distributor has done its bit over the past ten years by enabling its staff to apply for its Team Sport awards.

The supportive scheme offers UK Power Networks employees who coach or help out in grassroots sport, the chance to apply for £250 funding for the club they are involved with.

More than 500 grants have now been made, adding up to £130,000 in funding for local sports groups across London, the East and South East of England.

Not everyone becomes an Olympian of course, but the benefits include helping staff who volunteer in the community, the promotion of healthy living, teamwork and the development of sporting opportunities as local clubs ranging from netball to boxing receive their funding boost. 

Alex Sturge, head of internal communications, engagement and development at UK Power Networks, said: “The Team Sport Award scheme is long-running because we know the positive impact it has on local communities, and it is fantastic for staff to reward a club which has often given so much to them.

“Lockdowns of the past 18 months have left many sports clubs with financial challenges in terms of reduced fundraising opportunities and they still have costs to bear to stay functioning, so it was vital that we maintained our support during the pandemic. I think the money we contributed was more important than ever.”

Among the latest recipients is Lewis Wells who has a long family involvement with West Norfolk Swimming Club and has used the scheme to help buy new training equipment over several years.

Lewis said: “Like many clubs we have been impacted by the pandemic so everyone at the club was grateful to UK Power Networks. I’m really grateful my company runs this scheme and have applied on the club’s behalf a number of times, because the money is always needed.”

Another club to have received Team Sport Awards from UK Power Networks, is Huntingdon Gymnastics Club which has an international reputation having trained gymnasts representing Great Britain in the Olympic Games, including Louis Smith who won gold at London 2012. UK Power Networks also built and ran a brand new electricity network for London 2012.