As the Olympic Torch enters Croydon, locals had another 95,000 sporting reasons to celebrate, with three projects in the borough benefiting in hard cash from the latest round of grants from the Mayor of London’s sports fund.
- Streatham and Croydon RFC in Thornton Heath is receiving £70,000 towards the refurbishment of its changing rooms, which will help with the old club’s efforts to introduce a women’s team to its fixture list at Frant Road.
- St Paul’s Tennis Club on Carlton Road, South Croydon, is receiving £6,652 to upgrade its two hard courts.
- And the council-operated Croydon Clocktower is branching out into the fitness business, receiving nearly £18,000 to “install marked and measured running routes across London” (haven’t they heard of GPS and the Good Run Guide, tools of the digital age widely used by runners of all standards?)
At £95,000 in total, Croydon is receiving one of the biggest set of grants of any London borough from the fund, which is determined by the Mayor’s “sports Tzarina”, Kate Hoey, the former Labour sports minister.
Neighbouring Bromley is also in the money, with projects at Old Wilsonians, Bromley and Downham Youth Club and Goddington Park also receiving grants in a £800,000 round of pledges for 16 grassroots sports projects announced by City Hall, with the London Olympics just four days away.
The money comes from a £15.5 million fund established by the Mayor to ensure a sporting legacy after Olympics, as Boris Johnson urges more Londoners to take up regular sport.
The Mayor also wants people to try their hand at a sport they may not have tried before for free as part of his Freesport programme, which is aimed at boosting interest and participation in sport before, during and after the Games.
Around 130 locations across the capital will be open to the public for the initiative and Londoners can find out more by simply logging on to www.molpresents.com/freesport.
“The 2012 Games will be the greatest sporting event ever held and I am determined that Londoners are inspired by the feats of endurance we are set to witness, to get fit and active,” blustered Boris, who is well-known for riding his bicycle the wrong way down one-way streets.
“The Mayor wants to ensure that once the last Olympic and Paralympic medal has been handed out, our city remains gripped by sporting fervour,” Hoey said in an official statement.
“We want to drive up sports participation ensuring people, of all ages and abilities, have access to the very best facilities. No host city has ever delivered a sustained increase in improving facilities and participation off the back of the Games. We want to ensure that London becomes the first.”
- The Mayor’s office chose yesterday, when Londoner Bradley Wiggins became the first Briton to win the Tour de France, to announce a bid from London to stage the 2016 world track cycling championships at the Olympic Park velodrome.
- Inside Croydon: For comment and analysis about Croydon, from inside Croydon
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