Blaenavon charity urges sport and leisure groups to apply for funds

First published in News by

SPORTS people and clubs from north Torfaen are being urged to apply for funding from a local charity.

Blaenavon Leisure and Sports Trust (BLAST), which has raised almost £50,000 since it was set up to fight demolition of the town’s leisure facilities in 2007, has made one batch of awards totalling £2,750.

But it has not had a significant number of applications since giving out those grants in late 2013.

The charity’s chairman, John Bevan, said: “We want to make sports and leisure clubs and teams and individuals aware that there is this pot of money that the people who made donations to would like to see recycled back into the community.”

Among the last recipients was Blaenavon Table Tennis Club, which has produced 51 junior Welsh international and three junior Commonwealth Games players in the 29 years.

The Table Tennis Club was based at Blaenavon Recreation Centre for more than 20 years before its demolition. It has since reopened at the town’s Workmen’s Hall.

Since then, several of its newest players have swiftly achieved success, including three being selected for the Welsh junior squad and one, Matthew Pearce,13, playing for Wales.

The BLAST award of £500 was used for equipment – club t-shirts and bats - and competition entry fees.

Secretary Dave Allen said new members were always welcome and should either contact him on 01495 790629, or simply turn up on training nights, 6.30pm at the Workmen’s Hall, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The BLAST charity shop alone has raised £15,000 over the past seven years through its stock of clothes and other household goods, which hard working volunteers look after and sell at the Broad Street premises every Monday to Friday from 10am to 2pm.

Another important source of fundraising has been the 100 Club, a mini lottery run each week from the BLAST shop. Entrants stake £1 on any number from one upwards, and the holder of the winning number drawn on a Friday receives half of the total entry money. The remaining 50% goes into BLAST funds. New entrants are always welcome and should call into the BLAST shop to participate.

The awards are available up to a maximum of £500. Applicants should live in north Torfaen. Sports or leisure groups applying should have a qualified instructor and/or affiliated governing body, and individuals must be involved in activities at an amateur level.

Anyone interested in applying for an award is asked to do so by emailing BLASTgroup@hotmail.com for an application form.

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