A THRIVING village football club in Redruth is about to get the expansion its ever-increasing popularity deserves after receiving thousands of pounds to help update its facilities.
Illogan Junior Football Club were the lucky recipients of £3,000 courtesy of the Lloyds Bank Community Fund after coming out on top against other community organisations in a public vote.
Around 180 children make up the club’s youth section – a number that has quadrupled in the last four years – and with the added interest replacing the old equipment is high on the agenda.
Darren Kinsman, vice chairman of the club and manager of various junior sides, says the money will also help their cause to acquire their own playing fields instead of having to rent them.
“The club plays an important part in our local community and for the amount of money we have received it will make a big difference,” he said.
“We have 180 young kids but also senior sides with three men’s teams and two women’s teams on top of that so it is actually quite a big organisation.
“We are closely linked to the parish council and the local schools in Illogan and we are actually a British Legion club with the men’s side having been in existence for a long while.
“Just three or four years ago there were only around 45 kids at the club so you can see how it has massively expanded and hence why we need to update our facilities to cope.
“Our biggest cost at the moment is that we currently rent the field where we play but we are in the middle of trying to sort a deal to take over the local park and rugby fields.
“That will give us more pitches to play on and more facilities to use which will be handy at this time of year because our pitches are getting quite worn.
“We are planning to also spend some money on building some dugouts for the kids to go in and improvements to the ground to make sure it is keeping up with our expanding number of kids.
“We are also using the senior club’s changing rooms but ideally we need some of our own too.”
Now in its second year, the Lloyds Bank Community Fund gave grants to more than 1,332 local good causes in 333 communities throughout England and Wales.
Four good causes were nominated by staff in each community with more than 2.3million votes cast in branches, online and by text message at the end of 2013.
And after Illogan J.F.C came out on top along with the Ronnie Richards Memorial Charity, Kinsman admits their relationship with the British Legion may have had some part to play.
“As a British Legion club we do a lot in the community with poppy appeals and marches and because we have involved the kids in those I think people appreciated it,” he added.
“We also now have a link with Illogan Primary School with a coach that goes in to run sessions for free so it is great to see people taking notice.”
To find out more about the community groups in your area, visit www.lloydsbank.com/communityfund.