WESTBURY Swimming Club members are celebrating following the award of nearly £10,000 from Awards for All at the Big Lottery Fund.
Guest of honour, cllr Sue Ezra, mayor of Westbury and committee member Neil Tribick happily handed over the cheque to club senior coaches Sandra Pearce and Stephen Pyne on Tuesday 21st July.
Chairman Mark Hanney believes the award represents a major step forward for everyone at Westbury Swimming Club. He said, “This is a terrific boost for our club and I’d like to thank the Lottery for their support and especially Neil Tribick for the hard work he put into the successful application.”
Earlier this year the club embarked upon a sustained campaign to rejuvenate its fortunes including promotional leaflets to local schools, local letterbox drops and school presentations and the Lottery application. These initiatives have proved a success and membership numbers have risen by 35 since April.
The Lottery application was made in March. To qualify for the award the club had to demonstrate that its application met a number of criteria including an explanation of how the club intended to raise funds independently (such as the recent highly successful sponsored swim) and specify what the funding would pay for.
The award has delighted everyone at the club. Neil Tribick said; “Equipment like starting blocks and turning boards for use in training and competitive swimming are very expensive and a small club like ours can’t afford to replace them very often. The equipment we have been using up till now is pretty old and has never been ideal.
“The Lottery award will pay for brand new blocks and the like and all the swimmers will benefit from that. We will also use the money for specialist coaching evenings, swimming training aids such as kick fins and hand paddles, team tops so that we look smart when we go to swim elsewhere and social events to pay for courses to develop new coaching staff.
“All in all, this is a massive boost for us, allowing us to invest now for a successful future for all our members”.
The club is also grateful for the tremendous support it was given in its application by Jill Hibbs, deputy head of Bitham Brook School. Her independent confirmation of the good work done by the club’s volunteers was essential in getting the application through.
The club is organising a grand unveiling of the new equipment later this year.
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