Whiston brownies curling towards sporting success

July 10, 2015 | Community News

Young girls in a South Yorkshire village are spreading the word on a new sporting challenge thanks to a grant from a renewable energy firm.

Members of the 11th Rotherham Brownie Pack, which is based the village of Whiston, have used a £246 grant from Barlborough-based renewable energy firm Banks Renewables to buy a new set of curling equipment.

The Pack was inspired to take up the sport following the success of the British curling teams at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, and a number of them have already showing their potential for becoming the next Eve Muirhead or Rhona Martin.

As well as holding competitions amongst themselves, the Pack is looking to get other Brownies across the region involved in playing matches, and is also hoping to invite older people in the area to play as part of their work to build links with different parts of the local community.

The 11th Rotherham Brownie Pack currently has around 30 members, most of whom come from Whiston itself, and meet every week at the village’s Manorial Barn, where the curling equipment is kept to enable other local people to make use of it as well.

The grant was awarded to the Brownies from the community fund linked to Banks Renewables’ nearby Penny Hill wind farm, which is ring-fenced for use within the parishes of Aston, Thurcroft, Treeton, Ulley and Whiston, and which has already has seen grants totalling over £40,000 made in support of organisations across these communities.

Pack leader Anthea Goodman, who has been involved with running the 11th Rotherham Brownies for the last 48 years, says: “We always like to move with the times and give the girls interesting new things to try, and when we saw how well the British curling teams did at the Winter Olympics, it provided the inspiration to give it a go for ourselves.

“The new equipment has proved so popular that we’re having to organise everyone into separate groups and take turns to ensure everyone gets a chance to play – some of the players have already shown some real talent for the sport, and they’re looking forward to testing themselves against other Brownies across the area in the future.

“Our ethos is all about improving ourselves, our community and the wider world, and because curling is a sport that can be played sitting down, we’re really keen to get local older people playing alongside the Brownies in the months to come, which will help build new links across the area to the benefit of everyone involved.

“We try to keep our costs as low as possible for the Brownies, and don’t have very much money spare for one-off purchases like this, so without Banks Renewables’ support, we wouldn’t have been able to buy the curling equipment and would be missing out on an activity that everyone’s really enjoying.”

The Penny Hill Wind Farm Community Fund will provide over £500,000 of community funding over the 25-year lifespan of the Penny Hill Wind Farm, a figure which would be significantly increased if the solar PV scheme that Banks is now looking to locate on a portion of the Penny Hill site gets the go ahead.

Lewis Stokes, development relations coordinator at the Banks Group, adds: “The Whiston Brownies are making fantastic use of the funding we’ve provided, and are also thinking far more widely about how others in the community can make use of and benefit from the sporting equipment they’ve now got to hand.”

Projects, community groups, or voluntary organisations in the vicinity of the Penny Hill Wind Farm which are looking for a grant of up to £3,000 should contact James Eaglesham at the Banks Community Fund on 0191 378 6342 for further information.

For further information on the Penny Hill solar PV project, and to register support for it, please visit  www.banksgroup.co.uk/penny-hill-solar

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