VOLUNTEERS at a sporting organisation serving Tynedale and Ponteland are looking to help sport recover from Covid-19.

Sport Tynedale provides funding to sportspeople or clubs operating in the area to help them progress in their chosen field, whether as a participant or coach.

And it is hoping to provide financial assistance post-lockdown to ensure support in the district can continue to as high a level as possible.

Edward Heslop, the organisation’s chairman, said: “These are extraordinary and difficult times for us all, and sport will not have been at the top of people’s minds.

“But it has been great to see how sports clubs have found all sorts of ways to keep in touch, and have continued to inspire and enthuse their members during lockdown.

“And we believe that sport will be more important than ever in the months to come, helping to reconnect people and communities in a positive way.

“We plan to use our funds to help sport get back on its feet and would welcome any ideas about how we can best do that – please let us have your thoughts by email at sporttynedale@gmail.com – bearing in mind we do not have large sums available.”

Originally operating under the name of Tynedale Sport Council, Sport Tynedale’s main activities have been:

l providing financial assistance to athletes and teams, both adult and of school age, who are achieving excellence and gaining representative honours;

l supporting volunteer coaches who are seeking new qualifications to coach sport in our local clubs;

l organising an annual awards evening which celebrates all aspects of sport in our area, with special guest presenters attracted to the ceremony.

To provide funding to local sports people, the organisation relies on subscriptions from sports clubs and town and parish councils.

Members of Sport Tynedale acknowledge that the financial position of might have changed during the coronavirus pandemic for many, but was still hopeful organisations would continue to support it.

Mr Heslop said: “We know some sports clubs will be tight for money but hope that most will be able to make a modest contribution.

“This then enables us to attract more support from sponsors and parish councils to support sport across our area.

“We hope that sports clubs will have been able to obtain some of the funding currently available to clubs. Sports Governing Bodies have good information specific to your sport, and Kathie Keady at Active Northumberland will also be pleased to help, email her at kathie.keady@northumberland.gov.uk.”

Clubs and groups who subscribe to Sport Tynedale are eligible for funding, as are their members.

To apply to its Sport Development Fund and Coaching Development Fund which exist to assist the development of sports people and coaches of all ages by offering financial support, download an application form from www.sport-tynedale.co.uk, or by emailing Kathie Keady at Active Northumberland.

The organisation has supported many sportspeople from all parts of west Northumberland in recent years, from helping a person attend a coaching qualification course or buying that piece of essential equipment.

In the past financial year, it awarded £4,000 in grants to individuals.