The take-up of water based sports across Stockton and the Tees Valley looks to be on the up, and Alex Cunningham has welcomed a £110,000 investment by Sport England, Stockton Council and Stockton based Tees River Users Trust (TRUT) that will help boost numbers further.
The funding, to be delivered over four years, will allow TRUT to appoint a community Sports Recruitment Activator to get out into the community and encourage people to try water based sports and develop good exercise habits. The Activator will be based at the River Tees Watersports Centre in Stockton.
Water based sports such as canoeing, rowing, dragon-boating and sailing offer people of all abilities and from all backgrounds the chance to exercise and improve their health. Via free trials, the Sports Recruitment Activator will be able to find something to suit everyone – from water sports novices to budding athletes.
The project is one of 88 to receive a share of £15 million of funding to support grassroots sport activity across the country, with £80,000 of funding coming as a grant from Sport England’s Community Sport Activation Fund which allows local authorities, charities and other organisations to apply for funding for innovative projects that will get more people playing sport.
“Our great river, once the centre of our manufacturing and shipbuilding heritage, is still one of our greatest assets and I have been delighted to see it become a leisure and sporting hub not just for our community but for national and international events. But I am more delighted that this grant will pave the way for more people, young and old, from our communities across the Borough to get involved in a wide range of activities which will not just be healthy but also tremendous fun.”
Mike Diaper, Sport England Director of Community Sport, said: “The investment being made through the Community Sport Activation Fund is making a real difference at a very local level. I’m particularly pleased that more than half the funding is going into projects in deprived areas, helping more people develop a lifelong sporting habit.”
Ralph Pickles of TRUT, said: “We are delighted to receive this award which we expect to make a significant difference to activity levels across all age groups. We have excellent facilities which more people will now be able to enjoy. Improvements to the river, in recent years, by Stockton Council have made it a superb asset. We are currently working with Tees Valley Sport, Teesside University and sports governing bodies to identify the right candidate for the role, which will be crucial to successful delivery.”