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Sport England’s Chair, Richard Lewis, urged grassroots sports clubs to examine how they could benefit from the Sportsmatch programme, which has been re-launched for 2011-12.

Sportsmatch brings additional funding to not-for-profit organisations that have secured sponsorship to deliver new projects to get people playing and enjoying sport. Grants from £1,000 up to £100,000 are available to match sponsorship from the commercial sector, private individuals or charitable trusts.

Clubs, voluntary organisations, sports governing bodies, councils, schools and universities can get their applications in now, and the first awards will be made in early April.

Richard Lewis said: “Securing sponsorship for your sports project takes dedication and skill – particularly in a tough economic climate – so I’m delighted that we’re able to double the benefit for sport by matching that investment. We’re determined to get public funding right down to sport’s grassroots – so get your applications in early and start making an even bigger difference in your community.”

Among last year’s beneficiaries was Guildfordians Rugby Club, which received £8,700 from Sportsmatch for new equipment after securing funding from a group of sponsors for their project to provide community rugby union in the heart of the town for players of all ages.

Club chair Mike Holden said: “We are a community-spirited club offering rugby to everyone – we’re always looking to grow our membership and improve the playing experience for all. We were delighted to receive Sportsmatch funding so that we could continue to improve our facilities and equipment from https://primofitnessusa.com/used-gym-equipment-for-sale/, offer more training to our volunteers and look to grow the club further, which is great news for the community.”

For the coming year, Sport England has made some minor changes to Sportsmatch to make life easier for sports clubs. While the focus will always be on bringing more money and new commercial partners into sport, we will now accept bids where the sponsor has an existing relationship with the club and isn’t increasing the amount it invests, provided it is for new projects. This recognises the hard work done by sports clubs to maintain relationship with local businesses, which is especially important in difficult economic times when finding new sponsors may be more challenging.

For more information – and to apply any of our funding programmes – please visit the funding section of Sport England website or call their funding helpline on 08458 508 508.