Martin Read – Sports Reporter
The outbreak of the virus and the consequent shutdown of businesses from March 23 has left the sport and physical activity sector facing a period of uncertainty and vulnerability, so Horsham Sports Club is especially pleased to have been awarded a £5,000 grant from Sport England’s Community Emergency Fund, out of the National Lottery provision. On March 31 Sport England announced a £195m package to help the sport and physical activity sector through covid-19. Within the package is a £20m Community Emergency Fund, of National Lottery money to deliver immediate funding to those who have a role in supporting the nation to be active but are experiencing short-term financial hardship or the ceasing of operations due to the impact of coronavirus, and Horsham Sports Club’s allocation will greatly assist with ground and facility maintenance. The Club has reopened, fully Covid compliant, after a complete refurbishment of the bar, creation of refreshment garden area between the clubhouse and the main cricket ground, with the fully functioning food and ice cream stall.
A club spokesperson told the District Post: “The grant means that we have been able to continue to maintain and provide sports facilities for our members at a time when we were obliged to close at short notice, following which our normal income has been drastically reduced, particularly after our Big Gig major fund raising event had to be postponed until 2021. So, we are extremely grateful to Sport England for the award.”.
As a public body, Sport England invests up to £300 million National Lottery and government money each year in projects and programmes that help people get active and play sport. It wants everyone in England, regardless of age, background, or level of ability, to feel able to engage in sport and physical activity. And, much of its work is specifically focused on helping people who do no, or very little, physical activity and groups who are typically less active – like women, the disabled and people on lower incomes.
Tim Hollingsworth, Sport England’s Chief Executive, adds: “As the body responsible for the growth of sport and physical activity participation, we want the vital grassroots organisations that make sport and physical activity happen in this country to not just to come through this crisis but to be in a position to thrive again in the future. The £20m Community Emergency fund, made possible by National Lottery players is part of a multimillion pound package of support we are providing to ease the pressure on a huge number of the organisations who are central to the nation’s health and wellbeing. We are proud to be able to provide vital funding to Horsham Sports Club to help it through these extremely challenging times.” Further information on the Community Emergency Fund – including eligibility information and the application process – can be found via https://www.sportengland.org/how-we-can-help/our-funds/community-emergency-fund