Players, coaches and officials at Long Sutton Hockey Club have been given a huge vote of confidence for their work in the community.
The town sports club was described as “vibrant and active” by the National Hockey Foundation (NHF) which awarded it a £30,000 grant towards a new pitch and floodlighting upgrades.
Nearly £170,000 has been awarded to hockey clubs across England by the NHF so far this year through a trust set up from the sale of what was the National Hockey Stadium in Milton Keynes which was demolished in 2010.
Lorraine Wallis, chairman of Long Sutton Hockey Club, said: “Without a pitch, we’re all going to have nowhere to play so it’s very positive what the NHF has done.
“Hopefully, fingers crossed, the project will come to fruition but there’s still a little way to go.”
The hockey club has been saving for better facilities over a period of years, with nearly £20,000 put aside in a “sinking fund”.
It’s very positive what the NHF has done and hopefully, fingers crossed, the project will come to fruitionLorraine Wallis, chairman of Long Sutton Hockey Club
Committee members hope the NLF grant will be looked on favourably by Sport England, Lincolnshire County Council, South Holland District Council and other grant-making bodies that are considering applications from the hockey club for cash totalling £87,000.
NHF chairman Tony Billson said: “The foundation is pleased to be able to support the project at Peele Leisure Centre to enable Long Sutton Hockey Club to improve the condition of their ageing synthetic playing surface.
“The trustees are aware of the high cost of replacement of these surfaces and realise the importance of having quality facilities to enable the sport to continue effectively.
“The objectives of the foundation include encouraging the development of hockey throughout England, with particular emphasis on creating opportunity to bring more young people to playing the sport.
“The Trustees of the NHF considered that the application from Long Sutton Hockey Club fully met these objectives and felt that it would provide improved opportunities in an area which is currently lacking sufficient facilities of the right quality.
“The NHF supports such applications across the whole of England and have recently made grants to clubs as far afield as Kent, Lancashire, Cornwall and Durham, so we are delighted to have had the chance to encourage this vibrant and active hockey club.
“We wish them well in their venture.”