Sports club nets donation for new equipment

Tom Scarry, a member of the committee of volunteers that runs the Blue Flames Sporting Club, with Chris Kelsey (right), of the Banks Group.
Tom Scarry, a member of the committee of volunteers that runs the Blue Flames Sporting Club, with Chris Kelsey (right), of the Banks Group.

A community sports club is feeling fit for the future after receiving a big donation.

Blue Flames Sporting Club, based at Whitley Park in Benton, has netted a £15,000 grant from Banks Group’s Banks Community Fund.

The not-for-profit community amateur sports club, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, receives around 170,000 visitors every year.

The money will enable the club to purchase two new sets of lightweight full-size goals, as well as new sets of five-a-side goals, netball posts, tennis nets, gym mats and badminton nets.

Tom Scarry, committee member at the Blue Flames Sporting Club, said: “Balancing the need to make our facilities accessible to everyone with the need to balance the books is always a real challenge for us, and it means that we simply don’t have the money needed to replace or upgrade equipment as and when we want.

“The state of the football goals were becoming an urgent problem for us, and we were at risk of having to call games off if we hadn’t been able to replace them.

“The value of this grant to the local community really is incalculable.

“We’re trying to widen the range of activities that we offer, and the recent introduction of walking football, walking netball and badminton has really drawn people in.

“It’s great to see residents coming together in this way, and the improvements that this funding has allowed us to make will hopefully encourage even more people to see what we have to offer.”

Chris Kelsey, communications manager at the Banks Group, said: “The Blue Flames Sporting Club is a real community success story, and the work that the volunteer committee members put into keeping is going it extremely impressive.

“We’re very pleased to be able to play our part in supporting the excellent work that the Club does, and hope everyone enjoys making the most of what’s available.”

The Banks Community Fund provides grants for community groups and voluntary organisations in the vicinity of Banks Group projects.

Anyone interested in applying for funding should contact James Eaglesham at the Banks Community Fund on 0191 378 6342 to check if their group or project is eligible.