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New community fund launched for upgrading sports facilities

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Sport Wales has teamed up with Crowdfunder to offer sports clubs in Wales an exciting new way to fund facility improvements.

To help people across the country to be more active, Sport Wales is offering up to £15,000A Place for Sport’ match funding to support clubs’ own community fundraising efforts on the Crowdfunder website.

Examples of the types of facility projects that could receive support include improvements to changing rooms, clubhouse renovations, upgraded kitchen facilities to provide income generation, lifts and ramps for better disability access, as well as the installation of solar panels, generators or boilers.

Brian Davies, Director of Sport Systems at Sport Wales, said: “The pandemic has really highlighted the importance that a place for sport can have in our communities to bring people together and improve their lives. 

“Since the pandemic began, we have invested over £5.2m via our Be Active Wales Fund to help clubs survive the crisis, make their activities Covid secure, and support plans for attracting new members.

A Place for Sport is a pilot scheme running until April 2022 that will expand on the Be Active Wales Fund by focusing on ‘off-field’ facility improvements. By creating this fund we can help improve the all-round experience for participants, make clubs more eco-friendly, and more financially viable for the future. 

“As we want to ensure that everyone in Wales has the opportunity to be active through sport, we will prioritise projects in deprived communities. We really want this fund to make the biggest difference to those who need it most. 

“We believe that this is a time for innovation and building back differently. The use of crowdfunding is exciting because it will require clubs to engage with their local communities more than ever. The extensive support provided by Crowdfunder will also equip the volunteers who run sports clubs with the confidence required to help with their future fundraising too. This is as much about supporting clubs and volunteers in developing their skills as it is about the financial investment.”

Crowdfunder advertisement with a girl cycling

 

Murry Toms, Campaign Director at Crowdfunder, said: “I think we've seen this year alone just how much passion there is for sport in Wales. Grassroots clubs are the bedrock of that success but it has been a challenging time. We've been playing a leading role in the fightback.

"Our expert coaches support people from the start of the process to the end, guiding people through the unique journey of a crowdfunding project. And our partnership with Sport Wales helps us make a bigger impact, meaning we can channel extra funding into club projects.

"But it's more than just giving. As a rewards-based platform, Crowdfunder is an effective community engagement tool. In most cases the initial aim is to raise some money but the end result can be a re-energised community and a new way of thinking about the future. That's the magic of crowdfunding."

Funding for the ‘A Place for Sport’ pilot scheme has been allocated to Sport Wales by Welsh Government. 

Dawn Bowden, Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport, said: “Feedback from clubs who have benefited from Sport Wales funding during this difficult last year stated that they had truly seen the way a local sports club can be the centre point of a community; to be the place to bring people together, to tackle loneliness and enable personal development. 

“These sporting sanctuaries also provide the platform for children to experience the benefits of an active lifestyle from a young age and form lifelong friendships. With this in mind, I am delighted that Welsh Government funding is being used in such an innovative way to support community sports clubs in Wales.”

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