Schools save sport scheme

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SCHOOLS across the borough have clubbed together to ensure the Erewash School Sport Partnership can continue after its Government funding was slashed.

The scheme, which encourages more than 14,000 youngsters across Erewash to play sport, was under threat after finding out the £257,000 grant it was set to receive had been cut and replaced with £65,000 a year.

Rhian Lilley, the partnership’s development manager, set about talking to schools, organisations and businesses to try and raise another £60,000 a year for the project to continue.

Each primary school in Erewash has pledged £500 each and secondary schools have put up £2,000 to keep the partnership running in 2012.

Mrs Lilley said: “School sport partnerships have revolutionised physical education and school sport and it’s obvious that head teachers realise this.

“That’s why they’ve come forward, in these tough economic times, and given us their financial backing which will allow us to continue offering this vital service.

“We are so grateful to them and we are sure all the children who benefit from the partnership will be too.”

Partial funding is in place for 2013 but the partnership still need support from businesses and organisations.

Mrs Lilley added: “This was a survival budget and a massive reduction on the amount we have received previously.

“Any more money that we raise will enable us to offer more activities and we are also looking ahead to the future and need to make sure that funds are in place to allow us to continue in the long-term.

“We would appreciate any help from local businesses and organisations who would like to come forward and offer sponsorship.”

Denise Wells, head teacher at Field House Infant School in Ilkeston, said she really appreciated the partnership’s work.

She said: “The Erewash School Sport Partnership has enabled pupils to participate in events such as cross-country, gymnastics, multi skill and dance festivals over and above the experiences that would normally be provided at infant school level.”

For more information about the fundraising campaign or to contribute, call Mrs Lilley on 07920283716.