Grant helps Cobras take a bite

August 10, 2010 | Brenkley News

Players at a Northumberland football club will be showing off their skills on better pitches this season after a four-figure grant from a local company paid for a new piece of ground maintenance equipment.

Cramlington Cobras FC has used the £3,800 grant given by The Banks Group, via its Banks Community Fund, to buy a splitter and roller, which decompacts the soil below the pitches without disturbing the surface itself.

Doing this allows more air to get into the subsoil and thus helps to keep the surface in the best possible condition.

And as well as helping to improve the football club’s playing surfaces, it has already had a positive impact on the overall drainage at the Cramlington Sporting Club ground where the Cobras play.

Originally formed in 1996, Cramlington Cobras FC amalgamated with Cramlington Town FC last year, and now runs 19 male and female teams at all levels from under 8s through to the senior team, which plays in the Northern Alliance.

It has more than 300 players on its books from across the local area, and holds the FA Charter Standard, which is the highest available quality benchmark for clubs operating outside the top four divisions in England.

Ian Coates of Cramlington Cobras FC says: “We only have six pitches to play on, and with 19 teams playing regular matches on them, they get an awful lot of use, so if the weather’s bad, they can quickly degenerate and become difficult or impossible to use.

“After looking at our different options, we realised that the splitter would make a big difference to the pitches we were able to produce, and we were very pleased and grateful that Banks was able to step up and meet the cost of bringing it to the club.

“The splitter has not only quickly improved our playing surfaces and made our groundsman’s life much easier, it has also helped with the overall drainage of the site, which benefits all the community sports teams that use this facility.

“The funding we’ve received from Banks will help reduce the number of matches that we have to call off due to the impact of adverse weather conditions, and will hopefully help our teams play better as well.”

The Banks Group has operated several surface mines in the south east Northumberland since the 1980s, and currently operates the Shotton and Brenkley Lane sites on the Blagdon Estate near Seaton Burn.

Katie Perkin at Banks Developments adds: “Clubs like Cramlington Cobras couldn’t run without the commitment of coaches, parents and other volunteers, and have a big influence on their local communities.

“We’re very pleased to be able to help the club improve the pitches on which its teams play, and wish them all every success for the coming season.”

The Banks Community Fund is administered by the County Durham Community Foundation.  Projects, community groups, or organisations looking for funding in the vicinity of a Banks Group development should contact Clare Johnson on 0191 383 0055.

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