28 Aug 2008

Anglesey’s Bull Bay Rowing Club can now buy new equipment thanks to a Community Chest grant of almost £1000 from the Sports Council for Wales.

Following British rowing success in the Beijing Olympics, the rowing club is encouraging more people in Anglesey to take to the waves with the purchase of a double scull sliding seat, coastal rowing oars and in-boat coaching equipment.

Stephen Jarrett, of Bull Bay Rowing Club, said:

"These newer boats give the opportunity for juniors to compete in boats that they see in televised competitions and puts them on a level playing field with the rest of the country."

The new scull is said to be much easier for juniors and women to row as there is less stress on the back than with fixed seat boats.

Stephen added: "With these new boats, all the body forces are in line and symmetrical and therefore much better for developing bodies. Because the stresses of rowing are spread equally, it is perfect for learners and first-time rowers."

Bull Bay Rowing Club offers qualified coaching and training sessions to people of all ages, both male and female.

Before the start of this project, the club had five juniors and 20 senior members but they hope that the new equipment and British Olympic rowing success will swell their numbers to 15 juniors and 28 senior members.

Since the inception of the Sports Council for Wales’ Community Chest scheme in 1999, communities across the length and breadth of Wales have been investing heavily in sports and physical activity projects.

As a result of the popularity and undoubted success of the scheme, the Sports Council for Wales is raising the level of grant. Organisations keen to develop sport & physical activity in Wales can now receive up to £1000 for a qualifying project over a 12 month period.

The scope of the scheme has also been widened. Grants have traditionally been awarded to sports clubs and sporting bodies. Now most organisations seeking to develop physical activity and sporting projects will be eligible for an award.

The Community Chest has recently been infiltrating additional areas of work such as the voluntary sector (e.g. Voluntary Youth Clubs, Women’s Institute) and the workplace, as well as continuing to support projects in the health and education arenas. So while funding the local football club might get the younger members of the community moving, backing a walking group will encourage more adults to get active.

Chair of the Sports Council for Wales, Philip Carling, said:

"Community Chest has been and continues to be a huge success and is very popular throughout Anglesey. The increase in funding and the greater scope of the scheme will increase its effectiveness.

"Panels based in each of the 22 local authorities in Wales hold the purse strings and have delegated authority to award grants to worthwhile projects. We want to hear of bright ideas and projects that will get more people in Anglesey more active, more often."