It’s all change for Sports Council
Published at 09:10, Monday, 18 June 2012
A TYNEDALE sporting institution is reinventing itself to move into the 21st century.
Founded in 1974, Tynedale Sports Council provides the highlight of the local sporting year with its prestigious awards night each December .
In addition, it provides financial support to coaches and youngsters through its generous grants scheme.
However, sports council members are now keen to raise its profile by changing its name – and even launching its own website.
From next week, the sports council will become Sport Tynedale.
The new name will be formally unveiled at the organisation’s annual meeting, to be held at the Tynedale Function Suite at Hexham Mart on Monday at 6-30pm.
Chairman Carole Smith, of Riding Mill, said this week: “ Last year at an exec meeting, I raised the question of whether Tynedale Sports Council still had a function, and its relevance to sport in the area, especially in the light of the good work being done by North Country Leisure.
“Things have moved on massively since it was established in 1974, and it seems that many sporting groups do not even know of our existence.
“I felt the name encourages the belief we are in some way run by the local council, which is certainly not the case.
“We are a group of volunteers, who do our best for sport across the whole of the western part of Northumberland.”
The highlight of the year is the annual awards night, where 13 trophies and numerous certificates of merit are handed out not only to teams and individuals, but also to the numerous individuals who work hard behind the scenes.
The event has attracted numerous high profile guests of honour, including Newcastle United and England striker Alan Shearer, Sunderland’s FA Cup winning manager Bob Stokoe, Olympic bronze medal rower Matt Wells and Durham County Cricket Club’s county championship winning coach Geoff Cook.
Less well known is the work the sports council has done in supporting sports people from the district through its youth sports development fund, coaching fund and adult development fund.
Mrs Smith said: “The awards evening is very well thought of, and raises the profile of sport in Tynedale.
“It is also clear that North Country Leisure values the role that we perform, and recipients of grants – particularly coaches – are always very grateful.
“The money is a good investment in sport, but we think the time has come to raise our profile – particularly in attracting more funds from subs/donations – so that more people could benefit.”
Only a handful of Tynedale’s 50-plus parish and town councils make donations to the sports council, despite the fact that sports people and teams from all parts of the district are eligible and grants and awards.
Northumberland County Council has followed the lead of Tynedale Council in providing financial support, but the group has relied heavily on the generous sponsorship of Alex Waters through his companies Tyne Valley Insurance and latterly TVI Commercial.
Mrs Smith said: “We are extremely grateful to Alex for his sponsorship.”
Since the name-change was first mooted, setting up a website has been the group’s main focus.
Mrs Smith said: “ We hope the website will improve accessibility, give up to date information and allow the download of affiliation forms and grant application forms, as well as providing links to other information.
“We investigated several ways of doing this and chose Terry Walsh’s TWDA design company, based in Hexham.”
The new-look Sport Tynedale hope to attract a good attendance at the AGM, by inviting Melanie Hall of Community Action Northumberland to give a presentation about funding opportunities for sports clubs and organisations across the district.
There will also be a chance to ask questions and find out more about the work of Sport Tynedale in the district.
Light refreshments will be available during the meeting.
Published by http://www.hexhamcourant.co.uk