Just champion! Community sport cash is a winner

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THERE’S a serious summer of sport on the way, with the Olympic Games in London, the Euro 2012 football tournament, and all manner of other high profile competitions to catch the attention.

But that doesn’t mean grass roots sport takes a back seat – and the Gazette has got together with the Riverside Shopping Centre in Hemel Hempstead to create a community sport programme which will see two local clubs or sporting ventures each scoop a £1,000 windfall

The Community Sports Awards scheme, which will be officially launched at the centre on Saturday, aims to help and support local sports clubs and groups in and around Dacorum in celebration of this exciting Olympic year.

The shopping centre is coming up with the cash to back the venture, which will run throughout the spring and will see members of the public playing a key role in deciding where the funds end up.

But to kick things off, we need to hear from clubs who could put those funds to good use.

So if your club needs new kit, your school has its eye on new sports equipment, you know an Olympic hopeful who needs financial help along the way or your facilities need a makeover, we want to hear about it.

The awards will be launched at the centre on Saturday, between noon and 3pm.

If you’d like to get involved, all you have to do is send a representative to the centre to talk through the details.

And don’t worry if this weekend’s fixtures mean you can’t get to the town centre – there will be opportunities for everyone to get involved, and full details will appear in the Gazette in the coming weeks.

But Saturday’s launch is well worth checking out, because it’s not just an information session – there are demonstrations and displays by the Zumbaboyz, WingTsun Martial Arts and Dacorum Majorettes – pictured above – scheduled during the day..

Centre manager David Robinson said: “There are so many fantastic sports organisations and clubs around the area that deserve some extra support and we would like them to come forward and tell us how we can help.

“The Community Sports Awards is something brand new for us and we are all very excited about how the money that we donate will be able to help local projects and groups.”

Gazette editor John Francis added: “We’re delighted to be teaming up with the Riverside to make sure that as many sports organisations in Dacorum know that this wonderful windfall is available.

“The Gazette is the number one paper for local sport, and we’re always keen to help local firms get their message across – especially when grass roots sport stands to get such a welcome shot in the arm.”