6 Nov 2008

Support from the Sports Council for Wales has helped an Anglesey gymnastics club’s balance, springing them forward in their pursuit of new coaching qualifications.

A £700 Community Chest grant will help Ynys Môn Gymnastics Club to send two parents on a UKCC (UK Coaching Certificate) Gymnastics course and pay for membership to British and Welsh Gymnastics.

The club coaches 40 girls three times a week at Maes Glas Sports Hall in Bangor. Organisers hope that the newly bolstered coaching provisions will provide more training time for gymnasts and attract more juniors to the sport.

Ynys Môn Gymnastics Club Secretary, Ellen Williams said, "We are planning to increase the number of qualified coaches within the club to assist with increased participation and to cover other coaches.

"We currently have parents eager to help at the club but to ensure the safety of the participants it is desirable that they attend coaching courses and acquire the relevant qualification."

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.

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."

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 and 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.