LAST YEAR Sport Wales gave more than £75,000 to grass-roots sports sides in Cardiff – through Community Chest grants.
Funded by the Welsh Assembly, the Community Chest scheme offers grants of up to £1,500 for teams who encourage people to become more active or raise the standards of existing activities.
Applications much demonstrate one of two things: they must show the grants would better prepare their club to cater for interest generated via 2012 or they must show they tackle inequality.
Black and ethnic minority groups, women and girls, disability inclusion and social inclusion are all highlighted categories.
The scheme is open to any group who hold a bank account in the organisation’s name, but members of the public, primary schools, secondary schools and associated bodies organising activities for children are unable to apply. The Community Chest scheme is run in partnership with all of Wales’s 22 local authorities.
In 2014, £75,024 was given to 66 different teams in Cardiff.
Twenty football clubs, five netball teams and one canoeing side, among others, were recipients of the grant last year. The amount given to each sport also varied.
Overall, football received the largest total of £18, 964. But proportionately, which sports in Cardiff gained the highest average grant?
With a large number of donations being made across a range of sports this year, many Cardiff teams are complimentary of the Community Chest scheme.
Andrew Blower, player/coach of Cardiff Dragons Dodgeball, said: “It [the Community Chest] has been fantastic for us. As dodgeball is a sport not many have played before, being able to subsidise a free trial session for people really helps our recruitment.”
“The fact we were able to secure a long term venue when starting helped massively. As did the ability to buy custom dodgeballs for the club. We would be nowhere near where we are now without the funding.”
Caroline Matthews, player/coach of Cardiff Celts Wheelchair Basketball, said: “Our first Community Chest Grant was integral in setting up the club to cover initial venue hire and basic equipment to get us started. We have since been able to successfully apply for further Community Chest Grants to grow our club by using the grant to train more coaches, and buy additional equipment such as sport wheelchairs. The grant form is simple to complete, you get a quick decision, and our club has benefitted hugely from the scheme and we would encourage other clubs to apply”.
However, some clubs have spoken of their disappointment at being overlooked. Martyn Evans, team member of Cathays Conservative Snooker Club, said: “We applied to get the baize replaced on one of our tables which is very costly. Apparently we did not meet the criteria necessary even though many children play in the Cardiff Snooker League.”
A club development co-ordinator for Sport Cardiff said: “The grants are for setting up new initiatives or making improvements or additions to existing provision. The grant can be for things such as equipment, coaching courses and first aid courses. We believe the scheme will help Cardiff to become a more active city in the future where most people play sport.”