ISSUED ON BEHALF OF TEES RIVER USERS TRUST
Take up of water based sports across Stockton and the Tees Valley looks to be on the up thanks to a £110,000 investment by Sport England, Stockton Council and Stockton based Tees River Users Trust (TRUT).
The funding, which will be delivered over four years, will allow TRUT to appoint a community Sports Recruitment Activator to get out into the community and encourage people to try water based sports and develop good exercise habits.
Water based sports such as canoeing, rowing, dragon-boating and sailing offer people of all abilities and from all backgrounds the chance to exercise and improve their health. Via free trials the Sports Recruitment Activator will be able to find something to suit everyone – from water sports novices to budding athletes. The Activator will be based at the River Tees Watersports Centre in Stockton.
£80,000 of the funding is a grant from Sport England as part of National Lottery funding from Sport England’s Community Sport Activation Fund. This is one of 88 projects to receive a share of £15 million of funding to support grassroots sport activity across the country.
Designed in response to local demand, Sport England’s Community Sport Activation Fund allows local authorities, charities and other organisations to apply for funding for innovative projects that will get more people playing sport.
Mike Diaper, Sport England Director of Community Sport, said: "It’s great to be working with innovative projects like this to offer people the chance to get into sport in a way that best suits them.
“The investment being made through the Community Sport Activation Fund is making a real difference at a very local level. I’m particularly pleased that more than half the funding is going into projects in deprived areas, helping more people develop a lifelong sporting habit.”
Ralph Pickles of TRUT, said: “We are delighted to receive this award which we expect to make a significant difference to activity levels across all age groups. We have excellent facilities which more people will now be able to enjoy. Improvements to the river, in recent years, by Stockton Council have made it a superb asset. We are currently working with Tees Valley Sport; Teesside University and sports governing bodies to identify the right candidate for the role, which will be crucial to successful delivery.”
Councillor Barbara Inman, Mayor of Stockton, said: “Even if you are not a regular exerciser water sports are a great way to build up stamina and get fit. Through this investment I am delighted more people will be able to try something new and improve their health while making the most of one of the Borough’s great assets, the River Tees.”
Alex Cunningham MP for Stockton North, said: “Our great river, once the centre of our manufacturing and shipbuilding heritage, is still one of our greatest assets and I have been delighted to see it become a leisure and sporting hub not just for our community but for national and international events. But I am more delighted that this grant will pave the way for more people, young and old, from our communities across the Borough to get involved in a wide range of activities which will not just be healthy but also tremendous fun.”
The Community Sport Activation Fund is investing a total of £47.5 million of funding over five funding rounds. Already 156 projects have shared in £27.2 million of funding over three rounds, receiving grants of between £50,000 and £250,000 to provide grassroots sport at a very local level.