AN ATHLETICS club in Sleaford is celebrating after winning thousands of pounds to support its running costs.
Laffletics Adapted Athletics Club, based at Northgate Sports Hall, has been handed £5,000 by Lloyds Banking Group Community Fund, the bulk of which will go towards its upkeep as a sports club for young people with disabilities.
The club beat off stiff competition from other community groups to land the prize after finishing in the top two of a public vote organised by Lloyds through its Community Fund.
Club secretary Thelma Smith helped launch Laffletics Adapted Athletics Club back in 2004 with her friend Sally Baxter, and said it was humbling people had thrown their backing behind the club.
She added: “We were absolutely delighted when we found out that we would be receiving the money, and we worked hard for it because we did our best to promote the club and try to get as many votes as we could.
“It was nice to just get nominated in the first place, but then we ended up getting over 1,000 votes so it was quite humbling, really.
“We cater for young people with both learning and physical disabilities and we do a wide range of sports, not just athletics, so the money will be a huge help.
“We have to buy special equipment for different disabilities, we have to hire the hall and pay for coaches, none of which are cheap.
“Having the Paralympics in this country did wonders for our club and we have already had about eight new people come down and show an interest.
“And hopefully this injection of money will help us cater for more people moving forward.”
More than 200,000 people across the UK took part in a public vote between May and September at Olympic Torch Relay celebration events and online to select the charities they wanted to receive the cash, part of £660,000 Lloyds Banking Group is investing through the Community Fund.
In total, 132 projects are set to receive £5,000 as part of the Lloyds Banking Group campaign, including Horncastle Town Junior Football Club.
“The Community Fund Project is a fantastic scheme and I am delighted that these organisations are benefiting from our help,” said Catherine Morrow, Lloyds Banking Group community ambassador for Lincolnshire.
“With both organisations being sports club it shows what kind of an area this is, and I hope as many people benefit as possible.”
Lloyds Banking Group, the largest financial services investor in UK communities, has provided funding to 132 organisations around the UK through its Community Fund in 2012. To find out more about the Group’s community investment, visit www.lloydsbankinggroup.com/community