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Sports Council saved by donor

PUBLISHED: 16:34 26 March 2009 | UPDATED: 10:03 11 August 2010

BARKING and Dagenham Sports Council, which was forced to close last month because the council cut their funding, has been saved by a generous donor, writes Sara Odeen-Isbister. Funeral directors West & Coe, in Rainham Road South, Dagenham handed over £1

BARKING and Dagenham Sports Council, which was forced to close last month because the council cut their funding, has been saved by a generous donor, writes Sara Odeen-Isbister.

Funeral directors West & Coe, in Rainham Road South, Dagenham handed over £1,750 to the group after seeing their plight in the POST.

The donation means the Sports Council can continue offering much needed financial support to small sports clubs in the borough for another 12 months.

In February Sports Council members took the difficult decision to disband after the council, who had been funding the group since it was formed in 1959, refused to give them a grant for the second year running.

Sports Council members were shocked by the snub, especially as their annual grant usually came to no more than £1,700.

The money was used to help smaller clubs with anything from trophies and equipment to coaching fees and travel costs.

The group's secretary Debbie Moore says she's delighted that West & Coe stepped in.

"The company's chairman Jeremy West and I both sit on the Living the Dream Trust board.

He saw the piece in the POST about the Sports Council shutting down and asked me if he could make a donation. It's absolutely fantastic news. All the members are so happy about it."

She added: "We are only safe for another year but I hope the council will reconsider and offer us a grant next year."

Jeremy West says the Sports Council is so vital to the borough that he wasn't prepared to see it close.

"Sport at a grass root level is very important. There are many talented athletes in Barking and Dagenham who would struggle without the help of an organisation such as the Sports Council.

It's such a small amount, especially if you compare it to the sum given to Barking Rugby Club and Dagenham and Redbridge FC. I think the council's decision was immoral."

The Sports Council will be co-hosting the borough's Sports Awards in December and is looking for business sponsors.

If you are interested contact Debbie Moore on 07778384478.


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