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Sports grant gives young athletes high hopes

Young athletes in Folkestone are aiming high following a grant for new training equipment for throwing sports.

From News & press - 1 June 2021 12:00 AM

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UK Power Networks awarded a £250 Team Sport Award to Folkestone Running Club to buy new javelins, shot put, discus and hammers.

Robert Burke, a coach at the club, successfully applied for his fifth award from his employer to support athletics in his community.

He said: “The equipment we use is expensive and a lot of our funds go towards venue hire, so in the last few years UK Power Networks’ support has been our best chance of getting new equipment. It’s vital because equipment always needs to be replaced and without that money it would be very hard to do that.”

Robert is a senior project designer for the local electricity distributor and has volunteered as a coach at his local athletics club for eight years. His daughter Ellie, who is 16, competes in discus and also coaches.

Robert said: “Athletics increases confidence and fitness. Some kids are fast runners, some can run for hours and some don’t run at all and can throw. There is something for everyone whether you like to jump, throw or run. You name it and you can do it.

“I get a buzz from seeing the kids running and entering competitions for the first time.”

The club has over 100 members and meets on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and occasionally Monday nights. 

The Team Sport Award scheme is run by UK Power Networks to encourage staff to volunteer in the community and is aimed at promoting healthy living, teamwork and developing sports opportunities. During 2020, more than 60 teams benefitted to a combined sum of £15,500.