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Top Kent football team win cash for new kit

Artois United Football Club in Tonbridge will be sporting a new team strip after a helping hand from local electricity network UK Power Networks.

From Press releases - 23 March 2018 12:00 AM

Kent football team win cash for kit.jpg

Player Ian Trim, who is an engineering team leader at the electricity firm, nominated his club for his employer’s team sports award and won a £250 grant to spend on new kit.

Ian, who lives in Maidstone, said: “I was really pleased because there is not a lot of money in grassroots sports and every season we see clubs drop out of the league. They rely on support like this to keep them going.

“This will help cement the future of the club because we haven’t had a change of kit for a few years. It will bring a bit of extra enthusiasm and pride. We are lucky to have more than one sponsor, but not all teams are so fortunate.”

The team won the West Kent Sunday Football League last year and is currently fourth in the league this year, with a few games in hand. They play home matches at Tonbridge Farm Sports Ground, in Darenth Avenue, and training takes place at Mascalls Academy.

The team recently reached the semi finals of the prestigious Kent Senior Premier Cup, a competition for grassroots football in Kent where 264 teams battle it out.

The club will be celebrating its 50th anniversary next year. It was founded in the sixties by a group of friends meeting in a pub where Stella Artois was sold. After a trip to Belgium to ask permission to use the name, the brewery agreed and the team became one of the most successful in Kent during the 1970s and 80s.

Ian said: “Running a club is a lot of commitment and takes so much time and effort that you need people to help outside the matches, like washing the kit and sending emails. Everyone has limited time, but I have a great group of friends through the club. Off the pitch there is a strong social side and we try to meet up at Christmas and a have a barbecue in the summer.”

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 development of sporting opportunities.

Hundreds of community and sport groups have benefited from grants since the scheme was set up. Last year £15,750 was donated to sporting groups connected to UK Power Networks’ staff.