Pinhoe Spartans and Lympstone Amateur Boxing Club – January 2015

Pinhoe Spartans and Lympstone Amateur Boxing Club are the latest clubs to benefit from a grant from the Express & Echo and Exeter City Council Sports Foundation.
The foundation has handed out nearly £4,000 to clubs and individuals in Exeter and the heart of Devon since its formation in 2013.
The latest grants, both of £300, will help Lympstone ABC get more coaches qualified and enable Pinhoe Spartans to pay for the training facilities of their ability counts football team.
Andy Barefoot, who has been running the Pinhoe Spartans ability counts team for the past three years, says the money will have a positive impact on the lives of disabled children in the city.
The team is open to children with autism, Asperger Syndrome, learning disabilities and physical and sensory impairments.
“At our first training session we had three people turn up, but we started from those three and it has grown,” said Barefoot. “Now we have an average of 18 people turn up, covering all disabilities.
“We have got a wide spectrum, but the main thing is that they all want to play football. They come along and they love it, which is great.
“Some of them even come back from the doctors and have been told that their balance, movement and limbs have improved by coming along and training.
“It is very pleasing to hear that when you are just trying to teach them to kick a football.
“You realise you have actually had a positive impact on their lives.”
The grant will help Pinhoe Spartans cover the cost of the pitch hire for their training at St Luke’s High School for the year. Barefoot said that is crucial, as otherwise disabled children in Exeter would have nowhere to go for their football.
“We are the only ability counts team in the city and we will carry on going as long as we can encourage people to keep coming,” he said. “The grant is fantastic because it covers the cost of our pitch hire.
“We are very grateful for this otherwise we couldn’t do it. It guarantees us another 12 months of coaching and playing and without that there wouldn’t be anywhere for them to go, which is a shame.”
Neil Parsons, who formed Lympstone ABC in 1968, was also delighted with the grant his club received.
“It was very much appreciated because it will help us train up a couple of new coaches to help with the workload,” he said.
“It costs roughly £400 to get a coach fully qualified, when you consider the ABA courses and the child protection and first aid courses.
“The money will go a long way to helping get a couple of people qualified and with the fact that we have got quite a few girls coming into the sport now, it might help us get a lady coach in as well.”
Lympstone ABC currently has just over 40 members, from juniors up to adults, but Parsons thinks the money will help them increase that number.
“It will improve the coaching the youngsters will get and the more coaches we get the more members we can get in as well. It will be onwards and upwards,” he said.