THE true value of the Advertiser’s Fighting Fit campaign was highlighted last week by the tremendous work of Richard Sutcliffe.
Richard, who has won grants for countless sports projects across the county as part of his work at Funding4Sport, hosted a full day of advice clinics attended by clubs such as Rotherham Town Cricket Club, Mexborough Athletic Cricket Club, Millmoor Juniors FC, Rawmarsh St Joseph’s and Rotherham Metro waterpolo.
Many of these clubs exist on a shoestring budget and need new equipment to help them thrive in the future.
Assistance required ranged from how to obtain funds for an expensive roller for a cricket pitch to money needed for floodlighting, dressing rooms and a kitchen.
The Advertiser began its Fighting Fit project to help tackle obesity, increase participation in sport, aid clubs and organisations to win funding to improve facilities in the area and campaign to keep the ground-breaking Rotherham Institute for Obesity open.
There is an increasing belief that the feelgood factor from the Olympics is on the decline and the so-called “legacy” is one that is benefiting the sporting elite rather than the grassroots.
We can’t all be world beaters, but we should at least have the opportunity to try out the same sports as those who are.
We have already lost Herringthorpe Leisure Centre, countless football pitches, several sports halls, swimming pools, hockey and bowls facilities — and we are told there are more cuts to come.
That is why Richard’s advice could prove so vital to this area.
There are many sporting organisations attempting to provide activities that encourage people to leave their televisions and computers behind for more physical pursuits, but the cost is often prohibitive.
Many of these clubs suffer because they are not aware of grant money that is available or do not have the expertise to be able to make a convincing bid for cash.
Hopefully the feature in this week’s paper will inspire other clubs to come forward and make serious bids for money that could develop their particular organisation, benefit sport in Rotherham as a whole and make the town Fighting Fit for the future.