Pirates riding high after cash boost

editor

£25,000 has been awarded to the club who are based at the London Road Gateway BMX sports site, one of the 200 community sports sites built as part of the Barclays Spaces for Sports (BS4S) programme. The grant will fund the installation of floodlights and help ensure a bright future lies ahead for the former British Club Champions.

The funding demonstrates Barclays commitment to ensure that all of its community sports sites have a long-term future and remain manageable for local volunteers and authorities to run.

Barclays Spaces for Sports is a global community sports programme which uses the positive power of sport to revitalise disadvantaged communities as well as to tackle key social issues. Since launching the UK programme in 2004 in partnership with the Football Foundation, the Barclays Spaces for Sports programme has benefitted more than half a million people in socially deprived regions.

The sustainability grant that the Preston Pirates BMX Club has been awarded follows a previous development grant from BS4S in 2007 worth over £20,000. This enabled the club to provide inclusive coaching sessions and race events for the local community whilst also competing with the top BMX clubs in the country, having to date produced numerous National and European BMX champions as well as a World BMX Champion.

Despite the numerous accolades, the club is extremely limited in its capacity to deliver sessions at the London Road Gateway BMX track during the autumn and winter months, with sessions restricted to a single Saturday afternoon. It became increasingly apparent that such limitations hindered the club in its aim to reach a sustainable future as one of the premier BMX facilities in the UK.

The new BS4S grant will enable floodlights to be installed which will allow more coaching sessions and riders on the track in the winter months. The Preston Pirates will now look to secure further external funding to develop the club with the employment of a BMX Development Officer a top priority.

Ian Brookes, Club Coach and Club Chairman or the Preston Pirates BMX Club, said: “The first Barclays Spaces for Sports grant we received allowed Preston Pirates to develop into one of the top clubs in the country and produce World Champions, however not being able to offer sessions all year round limited us as a club.

“We are very excited to be getting another £25,000 which will expand the range of opportunities to local young people and allow the Preston Pirates to develop further. We thank Barclays Spaces for Sports and the Football Foundation for its continuing support.”

Kirk Harrison, head of Barclays Spaces for Sports, added: “A key part of our commitment at 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 additional funding Preston Pirates BMX Club has received is an example of our commitment to our projects and the local communities.”

The partnership between Barclays and the Football Foundation sees one of the largest corporate banks in the world joining forces with one of the leading UK sports charities to help provide opportunities for communities to engage, learn and develop through sport.

Barclays Spaces for Sports

Barclays Spaces for Sports is a community sports programme which uses the positive power of sport to revitalise disadvantaged communities as well as to tackle key social issues. Using sport as the platform, Barclays Spaces for Sports engages communities to deliver an important range of life skills. The programme is part of Barclays’ Global Community Investment strategy and has made significant investments both in the UK and internationally. In the UK Barclays has delivered 200 physical sports sites across many disadvantaged areas through a successful partnership with the Football Foundation. These sites are used by over 53,000 people every week with participation, not sporting excellence, being the key ethos.

In 2008 the programme began to invest in innovative sport-for-development initiatives around the world, and to date 12 projects have been launched in China, Hong Kong, India, South Africa, Spain, the UK, the US, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Barclays has invested over £37m in the Spaces for Sports programme which represents the largest ever investment in grassroots sport by a private sector company in the UK.

Football Foundation

Funded by the Premier League, The Football Association, Sport England and the Government, the Football Foundation is the nation’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.

To find out more please visit www.barclays.com/spacesforsports

For more details visit www.footballfoundation.org.uk

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