Fifteen Teesside children’s sports clubs have bagged a share of £117,300 thanks to the Cash for Kids Sports Challenge partnership between TFM and Tees Valley Community Foundation.
The Sports Challenge, which was successfully held despite the challenges and restrictions faced from Covid-19, offered local grassroots groups the chance to raise thousands of pounds for new equipment, facilities, kit or training over a five-week period.
All of the money raised by each group was then match funded by TVCF – the winners funds were raised up by £5000, and second and third place winners were match funded £4000 and £3000 respectively. There were two extra awards of £500 for the groups that showed the best teamwork and best fundraising idea as well as an under 15s award to win a trip to Peat Rigg Outdoor Training Centre in the North York Moors.
Norton and Stockton Ancients FC Girls and Ladies were the overall challenge winners and will receive a grant of £17,448. Victoria Burton, player and coach for the club, said: “Taking part in the Sports Challenge is hands down one of the best things we’ve done as a club. It created a sense of teamwork and togetherness among our different age groups as we all worked towards one goal.
“The support we received throughout the challenge was a huge boost for us and all of the other sports clubs taking part. The funds we raised will go a long way to providing opportunities for budding girl footballers in the area!”
Stainsby Gymnastics were second place and will receive £14,112 and in third place were Boro Rangers Football Club who will receive £13,907. The best teamwork award went to Middlesbrough Roller Hockey Club and best fundraising idea was given to Stockton Town FC whilst Wolviston FC won the trip to Peat Rigg.
Charlotte Wilkinson head coach at Stainsby Gymnastics said: “After so long off over the last 18 months, the challenge gave the club a focus and enabled us to have fun again. Both the parents and gymnasts loved the opportunity to help raise the money to enable us to continue to improve our facilities - it reminded us that we are one big gym family.”
Regional charity manager for Cash for Kids North East, Stephanie Simpson, said: “I am absolutely thrilled with the partnership we’ve had with Tees Valley Community Foundation. For seven years now we’ve made great things happen for thousands of local children to attend grass roots sports via our Sports Challenge campaign.
“These sports groups have learned how to be self-sustainable for the future, how to engage businesses in their local areas and how to inspire the youth of today into becoming more committed to their sport and local communities.
“Tees Valley Community Foundation and Cash for Kids have raised and distributed almost £1m to local grass roots sports clubs over the past seven years through the Sports Challenge, which is an outstanding achievement by two local, like-minded charitable trusts. It’s a great example of how working in partnership can make the lives of young adults in our communities a better place to be through sport and community giving.”
Other groups who took part in the challenge and received matched funding were: Borocuda Swim School, Hartlepool St Francis FC, Leven Athletic, Thornaby Town FC, GymMad Gymnastics Academy, Priory Amateur Boxing Club, Darlington Storm Basketball Club, Aycliffe Angels Football Team and Darlington FC.
Sarah Hodgson, giving services manager at Tees Valley Community Foundation (TVCF) said: "We’re always impressed with the efforts that go into this incredible challenge, but with the challenges the groups have faced as a result of the pandemic, it’s really inspiring.
“The hardworking people at these local sports clubs across this region have, yet again, surpassed themselves under incredibly restrictive circumstances. This challenge continues to get better year on year and it shows how unstoppable the people of Teesside are. Everyone at TVCF hopes the clubs benefit hugely from all the match funding; they absolutely deserve it.”