Why Selsey cricketers and Arundel tennis players are celebrating

SELSEY Cricket Club are among sports groups sharing in a £2.9m National Lottery shareout.

The club have been granted £20,000 which will be used to develop facilities for their colts.

Club development manager Mike Nicholls said it would enable the club to carry out work on their two astro turf cricket wickets.

“The project will provide excellent conditions for the club’s growing junior section as more and more local youngsters come to play cricket,” he said.

“This award is part of the Olympic and Paralympic legacy fund and will enable our community to feel a direct link to the inspiration of the London Games. We are very grateful for this investment.”

Also benefitting from the big shareout are Arundel Lawn Tennis Club, who will soon be able to offer year-round playing opportunities thanks to their £20,000 award.

Floodlights are being installed on two of the club’s all-weather courts which will greatly extend the playing time available.

Club chairman Alan Pyant said: “Arundel Tennis Club are shortly to celebrate our 50th anniversary and I can’t think of a better way of marking this milestone than by achieving our long-held ambition to have floodlit courts.

“We are always looking to attract more members and we are hoping that this development will prove popular with the local community as well as our existing members. This project is opening up our club and giving people in Arundel and surrounding villages the opportunity to play tennis at a level to suit themselves, whether as beginners, socially or in one of the four teams that play in the county league.”

“The £2.9m of funding was awarded to sports projects across the south-east, taking the number of facilities supported by Inspired Facilities to more than 1,000 – one year ahead of schedule. The investments improve local facilities, create new venues for grassroots sport and in some cases allow local clubs to buy the facilities they use.

The fund is part of Sport England’s Places People Play Olympic and Paralympic legacy programme and all improved facilities carry the London 2012 Inspire mark, celebrating the link to the Games.

Sport England’s Chair, Richard Lewis, said: “This National Lottery investment is helping us deliver a lasting sporting legacy in the area from last year’s successful Olympic and Paralympic Games.

“With so many clubs in the South East having benefitted from this fund already and building on the success of last summer, this is the legacy people want for their local community.”

Sport and tourism minister Hugh Robertson said: “Six months on from the start of the London 2012 Games, we have extremely strong foundations in place for the sports legacy. The Places People Play programme goes from strength to strength and this £16.6m investment will improve facilities at local sports club across the country, encouraging participation and giving people more opportunities to get involved in sport.”

Sport England has launched a new £40m fund to help local sports projects and last month £493 was committed to 46 sports over the next four years.

Figures suggest 15.5m people are now playing sport every week, more than ever before.