Page 24 - ONSIDE Issue 31

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Barclays Spaces for Sports is a community sports programme
which has developed 200 community sports sites around the
UK in partnership with the Football Foundation.
These spaces give young people the chance to take part
in a range of different sports, including football, rugby,
cricket, skateboarding, tennis, netball, basketball and BMX
amongst others. Not only do participants take part in these
sports – they also have the opportunity to learn other skills,
including how to manage their money and increase their
prospects of employment.
Here are some of the activities that are going on at Barclays
Spaces for Sports sites.
Pat Cash opens
tennis facility
to “inspire a
lasting legacy”
in the Capital
FormerWimbledon tennis champion, Pat Cash, opened a brand new tennis
wall at the Barclays Spaces for Sports Arsenal FC flagship site at Rosemary
Gardens in Islington.
The facility, described by Pat as “a great practice tool”, will help youngsters
learn the skills needed to make them champions of the future.
The site was opened in 2007 having received £600,000 of capital investment
through Barclays Spaces for Sports and the Football Foundation, and
received a further £50,000 development grant in December 2007.The site’s
facilities already include two tennis courts, a third generation football pitch
and changing rooms, all funded through Barclays Spaces for Sports.
The Australian champ, who lifted theWimbledon trophy in 1987, gave the
youngsters from a local youth project a masterclass on the new £12,000
tennis wall, which was part-funded by Barclays Spaces for Sports and
Islington Council.
In an exclusive interview with Football FoundationTV, Pat outlined the
benefits of practicing on a tennis wall:
“These sorts of walls are absolutely
ideal.You don’t need anybody, get a tennis ball and a racket and you
can come out here and practice for hours. [It is] great for hand-eye
He went on to focus on developing a tennis legacy for the
next generation:
“More important than anything is getting kids out onto
the court and hitting tennis balls, that’s what it’s all about – giving them a
sport for life.”
A Barclays spokesman said:
“The launch of the new tennis wall at
Rosemary Gardens symbolises the significant contribution Barclays Spaces
for Sports is determined to make to the revival of tennis in the UK.We
hope that its use will inspire young people to get involved in sport and
leave behind a tennis legacy for future generations.”
Councillor Paul Smith, Islington Council’s Executive Member for Environment,
“This excellent new tennis wall will help inspire more local people to
get involved with the game.”
Harvey, a youngster from Canonbury, said:
“I think it’s great that Barclays
have built us a new tennis wall, I think it is definitely going to help people
like me to play and enjoy tennis more often.”
Barclays’ long-term
commitment with
sustainability grants
Since the Barclays Spaces for Sports Sustainability Fund launched in early
2011, it has awarded 20 grants worth over £350,000, demonstrating Barclays
commitment to helping the sites become sustainable.
One such project is theWymersley Park Multi-Use Games Area in Hull, which in
May last year received a £22,642 grant to install new floodlights.The floodlights
will allow more coaching sessions to take place on the site and extend the usage
hours available.
AlastairWood, Senior Sports Development Officer at Hull City Council, said:
“The floodlights will make a considerable difference and allow us to maximise
usage over the winter months.The Multi-Use Games Area is the only park in
the ward and so a very valuable asset which attracts a diverse user group and
we are grateful to Barclays Spaces for Sports for giving us this opportunity to
deliver more sport within the community.”
The first Sustainability Grant was awarded in June 2011 to the Plymouth FC
Flagship facility at Saltmill Park.The £19,700 grant funded a Sports Development
Officer to increase usage of the facility. Most recently, Glodwick Cricket Club
was awarded a grant of £25,000 for drainage works to significantly improve the
condition of the outfield which currently forces the club to cancel at least ten
cricket games per season.
| The Football Foundation Magazine | Issue 31