The Henley-on-Thames Bowling Club based next to the Leichlingen Pavilion on Mill Meadows has been awarded £1,500 of National Lottery funding from Sport England’s Community Emergency Fund towards the cost of maintaining the green and Club house during the on-going COVID-19 pandemic from March to July of this year.
The outbreak of the virus and the consequent shutdown of businesses as of 23rd March has left the sport and physical activity sector facing a period of uncertainty.
In response, on 31st March Sport England announced a £195m package to help the sport and physical activity sector through Covid-19. Within the package is a £20m Community Emergency Fund, of National Lottery money to deliver immediate funding to those who have a role in supporting the nation to be active but are experiencing short-term financial hardship or the ceasing of operations due to the impact of coronavirus.
Kevin Browne, Membership Secretary at Henley Bowling Club said, “The grant will allow the Club to continue to pay for services relating to green maintenance, lawn mowing, repairs to the mowers and irrigation system, disposal of grass cuttings,maintenance to the Club house and purchase of cleaning materials like hand sanitizer/bleach etc. Maintenance of the green is paramount because if you let the grass grow too tall, the surface thins, it will try to set seed and get even thinner and it can take years to get it back into shape. Although the award does not cover all our costs by any means it is a much needed boost at a time when income to the Club, apart from donations, is almost zero. No membership fees, no match fees, no competition fees, no income from the bar. Fortunately we do have some reserves which will see us through this period but the Club hopes next year isn’t similarly impacted.”
Tim Hollingsworth, Sport England’s Chief Executive, said:“As the body responsible for the growth of sport and physical activity participation, we want the vital grassroots organisations that make sport and physical activity happen in this country to not just to come through this crisis but to be in a position to thrive again in the future. The
£20m Community Emergency fund, made possible by National Lottery players is part of a multimillion pound package of support we are providing to ease the pressure on a huge number of the organisations who are central to the nation’s health and wellbeing. We are proud to be able to provide vital funding to the Henley-on-Thames Bowling Club to help it through these extremely challenging times.”