Pont windfall

PONTELAND Rugby Club will be able to improve its facilities after receiving a major funding boost.

It has been given a £50,000 grant from Sport England’s Protecting Playing Fields Olympic legacy fund.

This will improve its drainage and enable the club to turn an adjoining playing field into new training facilities.

Director of Rugby John Chappell said: “We have three senior teams and more than 300 boys and girls in the junior and youth sections.

“This puts enormous pressure on our training and playing areas – often resulting in lost training sessions and matches when the weather is bad.

“This money, along with financial support from some local councillors, will allow us to train and play more often.

“We will also be able to expand the girls’ section and strengthen our links with the local schools by providing coaching sessions on site.”

Under the scheme, all of the playing fields supported by the fund will be protected from developers for at least 25 years.

It is part of the Places People Play programme, which aims to bring the inspiration of a home Olympic and Paralympic Games into communities all over the country.

Sport England’s Chairman, Richard Lewis, said: “These investments will transform the local pitches where many young people have their first experience of sport.”