£20,054 boost for Wigan Rugby League Club from Sport England Olympic legacy fund
A Wigan Rugby League Club has been awarded £20,054 of Olympic legacy funding from Sport England. The money will be used to upgrade the pitches at Wigan St Patricks ARLFC.
The National Lottery funding, which guarantees the future of the pitch for decades, comes from the latest round of Sport England’s Protecting Playing Fields Olympic legacy fund.
Wigan St. Patricks ARLFC currently fields 14 teams on a site consisting of just two Council-owned pitches. The funding will allow for an upgrade of the current pitches and the development of a mini-pitch for the club’s younger players which will also ease the demand for the two full-sized pitches.
Sport England’s Chair, Richard Lewis, said: “This playing field will be a lasting sporting legacy beyond the 2012 Games for Wigan, where generations will enjoy their first experience of sport.”
Wigan St. Patricks ARLFC is among 61 sports clubs and community groups across England to benefit from over £2 million of funding in the second round of Protecting Playing Fields, part of the Places People Play legacy programme that is bringing the inspiration and magic of a home Olympic and Paralympic Games into communities all over the country. The investments will bring disused playing fields back into use, improve existing sites or create new sports pitches.
Jodie Whittle, Chairperson of Wigan St. Patricks ARLFC, said: “This project will upgrade and improve the standard and quality of the club’s pitches, to the benefit of the local community, after years of overuse. It will also encourage even more children from within the community to become part of the club and take advantage of the sporting and recreational opportunities available to them by giving them their own dedicated playing facility.
“We are delighted that Sport England has chosen to invest in the development of these facilities, as this will ensure that they will offer greater and wider sporting opportunities to the community for both present and future generations.”
The announcement was welcomed by local MP, Lisa Nandy, who said: “This investment through Sport England is fantastic news for Wigan, and well deserved by St Patricks. Wigan has a proud history of excelling in sport, and clubs like St Patricks provide great opportunity for Wigan’s young people to fulfil their sporting potential. With the Olympics just around the corner, it is fantastic that Wigan will benefit from its sporting legacy”.
The playing field will also be protected and maintained for at least 25 years, creating an enduring benefit for sport.
Hundreds more playing fields are set to benefit from a further £6 million over the three remaining rounds of Protecting Playing Fields. The third round will open for bids in early summer.
Protecting Playing Fields builds on the work Sport England already does to safeguard playing fields as a statutory consultee on all planning applications affecting a sports playing field.