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Sports Council Awards

EIGHT sports clubs in Leighton and Linslade have been awarded grants totalling more than £2,800 to boost coaching qualifications, purchase new equipment and help launch new activities.
The awards have been made by the Leighton-Linslade Sports Council, and have been presented by  David Bowater, the Town Mayor and member of the Leighton-Linslade Council which funds the Sports Council.
The biggest award has been presented to Leighton Rugby club, currently enjoying one of its most successful seasons in its history. They have been awarded £440.00, half the cost of establishing a team for girls aged between 12 and 14.  The money will be spent on first aid training for new coaches, balls, cones and other equipment.  If the project is successful, the club plans to develop teams in other age groups.
 Leighton Buzzard Road Cycle Club, established nine years ago, has been awarded £334 towards the
cost of first aid and advanced coaching courses, while Leighton Fun Runners have been awarded £382 towards the cost of training ‘Leaders in Fitness’, a course run by England Athletics providing a nationally recognised qualification.
Linslade Tennis Club has been granted £254, the cost of providing equipment to enable people with disabilities to play tennis. The club, based at Mentmore Road Memorial playing fields, is the nominated hub for South Bedfordshire  people with learning and physical difficulties who wish play tennis. 
Leighton Hockey Club has been awarded £382 towards the cost of developing a junior section, with the money going towards the cost of equipment, hockey sticks and balls and t-shirts, while the Otters Swimming club for people with disabilities  has been granted £375 to cover the cost of a member undertaking a Swim England Level 1 coaching course.
Two popular football clubs in the town are to share £637 towards the cost of coaching courses. Leighton Park Rangers have been awarded £255 towards the cost of enabling two new managers to complete their Level 1 coaching course, while the Woodside Football club has been awarded £382 towards the cost enabling coaches of an Under 7s team and two Under 8’s teams to develop the skills and qualifications needed to maintain the FA’s Charter Standard.
In addition, the Sports Council, for the second successive year, is to donate £500 to Leighton Linslade Rotary Club’s nationally acclaimed ‘Yes We Can’ Project, which encourages people with mental or physical disabilities to become actively involved in sport.
The Leighton-Linslade Sports Council, a grass-roots organisation which for over 50 years has helped a wide variety of sporting activities in the community to grow, develop and flourish, is funded by the Town Council.  Sporting groups in the area are being encouraged to join the Sports Council to “have their voice heard” 
 As  well as making grants for equipment, coaching and other sporting needs, the Sports Council is the “ears and eyes” of the town’s sporting community, helping influence the decision makers to ensure Leighton, Linslade and  neighbouring villages and communities get the support needed from advice given by people with hands-on experience.
It also sponsors awards for recognising the work of “behind the scenes” volunteers in sporting organisations and a Sports Achiever of the Year.
PICTURE CAPTION:  Award recipients (back): Wendy Opplestone, treasurer of Linslade Tennis club; Town Mayor David Bowater; Lee Beaumont of Leighton Rugby Club; John Field, Woodside football club; Andrew Mark of the Otters Swimming Club; Nick Pinder, Leighton Park Rangers football club; (front) Kari Martin, Leighton Canoe Club and Steve Ellerton, Leighton Fun Runners.
Kari Martin, a coach at Leighton Buzzard Canoe club for over 20 years, lead coach for the past decade, and a British Canoeing Regatta official for the past 12 years, is pictured receiving the Leighton Linslade Sports Council Ladies Service to Sport Award from Town Mayor Councillor David Bowater.
Coaching two or three times a week at the club, Kari and her husband write the training programmes for all sessions, while Mrs Martin has been Sprint Team leader for many years.
Besides coaching hundreds of children and adults over the years, Kari has been a British Canoeing Regatta official since 2008, officiating at almost every National Regatta in Nottingham and at the 2012 London Olympics.