Barclays interest in community sport continues to rise

editor

The project situated in Merthyr Tydfil received the £23,500 grant to fund the replacement of an existing damaged hard court surface. The financial boost demonstrates Barclays commitment to ensure all 200 sites have a long-term future and remain sustainable for local volunteers and authorities to manage.

Barclays Spaces for Sports uses the power of sport to revitalise disadvantaged communities in countries around the world where Barclays operates. Since launching the UK programme in 2004, in partnership with the Football Foundation, the project has benefitted more than half a million people in socially deprived regions.

A recent census report showed that the area of Gurnos was above the national average in levels of ill health, Anti-Social Behaviour, life expectancy and unemployment.

BS4S made an initial investment of £22,000 to help resurface an existing Multi Use Games Area (MUGA). The resurfacing was completed in September 2005 with the existing floodlights revived to working order. This provided a safer environment for users and gave more chances to hold sporting activities for local residents.

Upon a return visit to the site in 2010 it became visible to Barclays and the Football Foundation that the MUGA surface was severely damaged, and further funding was required to undertake improvement works.

BS4S invested a further £23,500 into resurfacing the MUGA with a third generation (3G) technology surface, with the council contributing the remainder of the £30,716 total cost. This is currently being managed by Merthyr Tydfil Borough Council to deliver a range of sporting activities for the local community and generate additional income for the project.

Councillor Tony Rogers, Portfolio Member for Customer Services, said: “The Council is committed to increasing sports provision in the area and with Barclays Spaces for Sports we have been able to achieve this. We are determined to provide high quality sports and leisure facilities for the local community and enable as many people as possible the opportunity to participate in a range of activities.

“Barclays Spaces for Sports has been supporting our goals for over five years now, and their recent funding boost last year is testament to their programme target of making every site sustainable. We are really proud to be associated with Barclays Spaces for Sports, and the Football Foundation, with whom we have excellent relations.”

The project aims to offer a variety of sports, providing opportunities to involve people with an array of ages, abilities and backgrounds. The programme endeavours to go beyond facility funding, and strives to give responsibility to the local population, making the projects sustainable. This is achieved by training local users to become coaches, and undertaking regular visits to monitor every site, following the initial investment.

The programme has also awarded over 4,000 coaching packs to underprivileged teams and recognised people who have worked tirelessly to support grassroots sports in their area through the Local Hero Award, and from 2010 onwards the Barclays Community Sports Award.

Kirk Harrison, Head – Barclays Spaces for Sports, said: “A key part of our commitment through Barclays Spaces for Sports is to deliver a lasting legacy to communities through the use of our sites. We’ve been working closely with the Football Foundation throughout the programme to achieve this and the new facilities at Gurnos are an example of the positive work the programme has been delivering for local communities.”

Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “With community sport facility programmes, the real work starts when the ribbon is cut and the site opens to the public. The challenge then is to ensure that every one of the 200 sites enjoys extensive and proper usage, remains sustainable and provides a lasting legacy for the community, which is something that the Foundation is working hard with Barclays Spaces for Sports to deliver.

“This enduring partnership between Barclays Spaces for Sports and the Football Foundation continues to be the most ground breaking and innovative grassroots, community sports programme, which is delivering multi-sports opportunities to some of the most deprived communities in the country. Since 2004, it has been the model for corporate social responsibility through sport and is second-to-none when it comes to delivering a genuine and lasting community sports legacy across the UK.”

Barclays Spaces for Sports

Barclays Spaces for Sports is a community sports programme using sport to revitalise disadvantaged communities in countries around the world where Barclays operates.

It was launched in the UK in 2004 and has delivered 200 sustainable sports sites, giving more than half a million people in disadvantaged communities the opportunity to benefit.

Following its success in the UK the programme was extended globally in 2008, bringing the total commitment by Barclays to more than £37m. Additional investment of more than £30m from our partners the Football Foundation brings the overall total to more than £67m. Sites and projects are already established in South Africa, the US, UK, Spain, China, Zimbabwe and Zambia.

Barclays Spaces for Sports is part of Barclays global community programme which invested £54.9m across 31 countries in 2009. To find out more visit www.barclays.com/community/ spacesforsports

The Football Foundation

Funded by the Premier League, The FA, and the Government (via Sport England), the Football Foundation is the country’s largest sports charity. Since it was launched in 2000, the Foundation has awarded around 8,000 grants worth more than £420m towards improving grassroots sport, which it has used to attract additional partnership funding of over £520m.

Football Foundation

Richard Faulkner

Tel: 0845 345 455 ext. 4274, 07545 932432

Email:richard.faulkner@footballfoundation.org.uk

www.footballfoundation.org.uk

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/FootballFoundtn

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