Cleethorpes Athletics Club wins sprint to £5k award
LEADING the search for Britain's next Olympic hero, Cleethorpes Athletics Club is celebrating after receiving thousands of pounds to fund its outreach work in the community.
The club, which boasts more than 300 members, was awarded £5,000 by Lloyds Banking Group Community Fund after beating off stiff competition from community groups across the region.
Based at the King George V Stadium, Cleethorpes AC plans to spend the money on specialist equipment to take into schools, transport to and from training, and coaching courses.
And vice-chairman Margaret Saville insists the financial injection will not only enable the club to reach more children but will allow them to breathe a big sigh of relief, financially.
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"We were over the moon.
"We had some idea of how voting was going and we knew we were in the lead so the last final push was amazing," said the 65-year-old.
"The parents got behind us because they are so pleased with what we are doing because we are all volunteers and they appreciate what we do for their kids.
"We even had support from other athletic clubs because they appreciate the meets we put on throughout the year so we are chuffed the wider athletics community support us, too.
"We have to keep updated with the relevant coaching standards and often the courses are expensive and far away.
"Volunteers are expected to provide that themselves but with the money we can say we can cover the cost, which is massive because we need new coaches.
"We also hope to get some more mobile athletics equipment that we can take with us into schools. It is great to offer a different challenge for the children and more specific coaching.
"Introducing them early is so key, and thanks to the Olympics we have seen more and more youngsters eager to get involved. I have had many little girls tell me they want to be the next Jessica Ennis.
"We get no funding from anywhere and we have to rely on events just to keep us going so without the grant the children wouldn't get there. This is a buffer so we know we are safe."
More than 200,000 people across the UK took part in a public vote online and at Olympic Torch Relay celebration events between May and September to select the charities they wanted to receive the cash, part of £660,000 Lloyds Banking Group is investing through the Community Fund.
In total, 132 projects are set to receive £5,000 as part of the Lloyds Banking Group campaign.
Community and sustainable business director Paul Turner added: "The Community Fund highlights the group's ongoing commitment to the communities we serve and doing more to help Britain prosper.
"We are proud to be able to help Cleethorpes Athletics Club continue the great work they are doing in Grimsby and we look forward to seeing the difference the award will make."
Lloyds Banking Group, the largest financial services investor in UK communities, has provided funding to 132 organisations around the UK through its Community Fund in 2012.
To find out more about the group's community investment, visit www.lloydsbanking group.com/community