Island clubs get funding boost

An investment of nearly £5,000 has been made into sports and physical activities across the Island this month with the awarding of grants from the Hampshire Playing Fields Fund.

The grants, which are between £500 and £2,500 were distributed by the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Community Foundation – the largest grant maker to specialise in awarding grants across Hampshire and Isle of Wight – and were awarded to support outdoor activity, outdoor spaces and games and sports.

Brading Town Youth Football Club was awarded £1,340 to further their provision of a range of volunteer driven activities and Gurnard Youth Football Club was granted £2,365 to provide opportunities for up to 140 local children to access sport at a low cost including developing their girls’ football provision.

Jez Robinson, Club Secretary for Gurnard YFC said: “We are delighted to receive a grant from the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Foundation. As a club, we are passionate about offering the chance for organised sport to all children, regardless of ability, gender or financial circumstance. As a result of this grant, we can increase the number of our community training sessions and take our girls’ football provision to the next level. We already know the positive impact that Gurnard Youth Football Club has had on a lot of young people in the local area and being able to bring more children on board with us is very exciting indeed”.

Naturezones (pictured above), based on the Red Squirrel Trail, near Blackwater, has been awarded a grant of £1,250 to help expand its popular Nordic Pole Walking activities.

Naturezeones’ Angela Hewitt said: “Our Nordic Pole Walking project is for the over 50’s. Receiving this grant has given us the opportunity to extend our fitness scheme to younger people and at weekends.  Nordic Pole Walking isn’t just a ramble in the countryside – it’s a full body workout using muscles you didn’t know you had!”

Jacqui Scott, CEO at HIWCF said: “We are delighted to play our part in ensuring sports and organisations involved in sports across Hampshire get the support they need this year. Since the beginning of the Covid crisis, we have all come to appreciate the value of our outdoor spaces and local community recreation areas more than ever, particularly for improving our physical and mental wellbeing.”

“Additionally, sport and physical activity can be an important catalyst to ‘levelling the playing field’ for people of all backgrounds and engaging in sports has so much potential for transformation beyond the physical health improvements.  We are particularly interested in ensuring that this funding benefits people who face disadvantage in their lives – for example people with disabilities of all natures, and those facing mental health issues and social isolation. The Hampshire Playing Fields Fund means we can provide organisations like Brading Town YFC, Gurnard YFC and Naturezones with the means to achieve a better and more sustainable future at the same time as increasing participation by people from a wide range of backgrounds”.