Sports men and women of all generations in Long Bennington are celebrating the news this week of a £50,000 donation from Sport England.
The money will be spent on making improvements to the Long Bennington QE2 Playing Fields which will benefit the many football teams in the village - from under 7s to a veterans team.
Simon Foat, treasurer of Long Bennington’s veterans side, said: “But it will not only benefit Long Bennington but surrounding villages too such as Foston, Bottesford and Claypole because all their kids can come and get involved.”
As well as the £50,000 from Sport England, a further £10,000 will go towards the improvements thanks to money raised by the parish council, the Playing Field Management Committee and the football clubs of Long Bennington.
Steve Rowley, Secretary of the football clubs said: “Long Bennington has a thriving football community with over 180 players involved regularly aged from 5 to 56. The playing surfaces at the QE2 Playing Field have improved tremendously over the last 20 years due to hard work and investment.
“However, the current facilities are struggling to cope with the existing demand and this project will take the facilities to a new level. It will also enable us to provide a nine-v-nine football pitch for our Under-11 and Under-12 age groups.
“This promises to be a very exciting period for everyone connected with the football club and we are indebted to the support of Sport England, as well as the parish council and Playing Field Management Committee.”
Nick Bitel, the Chair of Sport England, said: “If community sports clubs want to attract and retain participants, they need to be able to offer quality facilities for everyone. The improvements to the Long Bennington QE2 Playing Field will be welcomed by regular users and those who are new to football.”