14 Jan 2009

Following the great success of the British cycling team in the Olympic Games in Beijing, more and more people are getting on their bikes in Pembrokeshire thanks to a National Lottery grant worth £905 from the Sports Council for Wales.

Cycling has become the fastest growing sport in Britain over the last few years. Not only is the sport having an effect on the elite, but also on people of all ages up and down the country and especially in Tenby.

Tenby Aces Cycling Club has just secured a Community Chest grant from the Sports Council which will fund the provision of turbo trainers, cycling equipment and venue hire which will encourage more people to join.

The club’s secretary, Gareth Rees, explains, "The turbo trainers are what we use during the winter months when it’s too cold and dangerous to cycle on the road. The bikes are attached to the turbo trainers which enable the bikes to stay static."

Rees, who works as a quantity surveyor at South Haven Construction in Pembroke Dock, adds, "The objective here is to have more equipment and ultimately, minimise the cost of training for children and young people. We want to encourage more juniors to join us and take up this great sport, because the interest is definitely there.

"Training starts again on Thursday 8 January at Tenby Leisure Centre and anyone with an interest in joining us should give us a call."

If you have an idea that could get more people, more active more often – you may even be in line for a cash grant from the Sports Council for Wales.

Projects up and down the country have been reaping the rewards of the Community Chest scheme since 1999.

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 Pembrokeshire. 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 Pembrokeshire more active, more often."