Supporting local sports clubs and our sporting talent of tomorrow

Torbay Council is investing £150,000 in its ‘Torbay on the Move’ strategy

Torbay Council is investing £150,000 in its ‘Torbay on the Move’ strategy - Credit: Torbay Council

There’s nothing more invigorating than hitting the water and paddling out across the sea.

I am a keen kayaker and it’s great to see so many other people enjoying our beautiful Bay this summer in their kayaks or on paddleboards.

As well as keeping me active, it’s also a fantastic way of connecting with nature.

We are lucky to live in a part of the world where we can enjoy so many activities along our coastline, but there are also opportunities to enjoy sport on land.

Having access to quality sporting activities is vitally important if we want to encourage more people to stay active and look after their health and wellbeing.

Due to austerity, there have been years of underinvestment in Torbay and so now the council is investing £150,000 in our ‘Torbay on the Move’ strategy.

As part of this, grants of up to £5,000 are now available from the ‘Back to Sport’ fund to help clubs that may be struggling to attract the same number of participants as before the pandemic.

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Many have been operating on a shoe-string budget for years and have particularly suffered in the last 12 months.

We want to show our commitment and support to our local sports clubs, which offer so much to local people.

We also want to support our sporting talent of tomorrow.

Training costs, travel, equipment, and competition fees can soon mount up and we don’t want these to become financial hurdles.

So now our sporting stars of the future can also apply for up to a £1,000 through the ‘Believe to Achieve’ grant scheme to help them flourish and reach their full potential.

Torbay Council has also contributed £2,500 to an exciting Bouncing Back to Sport event, which was due to take place last weekend at Torquay Tennis Club.

This was going to be the first of several events to enable local people to try a variety of sports activities for free, such as Zumba, archery, and taekwondo.

Unfortunately, the weekend had to be postponed due to increasing numbers of positive Covid-19 cases in the Bay.

This was incredibly disappointing for everyone who worked so hard to organise this event, but it was the right decision given that, in Torbay, we now have the highest rates of infection since the pandemic began.

I look forward to it going ahead in the future when it is safer for all to enjoy.

During lockdown, many of us took up outdoor physical activity, such as walking or cycling, particularly when indoor training facilities were closed.

Last Sunday morning, I was delighted that we had a very good turnout of around 25 people helping with the litter pick at Hope’s Nose with its wealth of wild flowers, bird and insect life, rocks and marine views.

Carrying more than 25 bags of litter up the hill from the beach for collection by the entrance stile on a rather humid day after the rain proved to be a good Sunday morning workout for all participants in a much-improved environment.

Now restrictions have been lifted we want to encourage everyone to continue to make use of the Bay’s green spaces and keep moving. 

There are a host of fantastic physical activities taking place and many are on council land and free to join.

I am pleased that we are supporting such worthy sessions.

If you fancy calming your mind and body, there’s Park Yoga on Torre Abbey Meadows every Sunday morning.

The recently enhanced Upton Park in Torquay is home to Freemovement which uses your own body weight to get your heart pumping.

If you fancy exploring Paignton, Brixham and Torquay instead, Baywalks hold regular walks with a trained volunteer.

Physical activity can make such a big difference to our state of mind and our health and what better place to enjoy it than in our sparkling waters or stunning Torbay environment.