Bognor Regis youngsters get police grant

Sussex Police officers hand over the money to Tania Cobbold with some of the Hook Lane Footie Crew.
Sussex Police officers hand over the money to Tania Cobbold with some of the Hook Lane Footie Crew.

Football-mad youngsters in Bognor Regis will be able to keep playing, thanks to police funding.

The Hook Lane Footie Crew will be able to continue with their football training after receiving a donation from Sussex Police.

The team, which meets every Monday, has been handed enough money to fund ten sessions at the Arun Leisure Centre in Felpham Way.

PCSO Kayliegh Foster said: “It has been wonderful to see how much the young people are enjoying the football training. It has really given children something to do and it has really had a positive impact.

“The team had been training at the Felpham Rec, but it is unlit and not suitable during the winter months and darker nights.

“Without the funding they would not have been able to continue.”

The team’s manager and coach, Tania Cobbold said she was really excited the youngsters aged between seven and 14 could continue training and playing.

She said: “The team was originally set up in January to get the children off the streets to give them something a focus and an activity to do on a regular basis.

“We have about 15 regular members on the team, but 23 on our books who attend every so often.

“They all really enjoy it and I am glad we can now continue.

“The whole thing has also strengthened the bond between myself and my children. It has brought us closer together and helped me get involved in something the enjoy doing.”

Tania started by doing the team’s administration work, but after AmicusHorizon housing association agreed to fund her level one coaching qualification, she swapped her pens and paper for a whistle and trainers.

“I am so grateful for the help which allowed me to do the coaching qualification. I am also so thankful to Jason Hughes from Albion in the community.

“He has been extremely supportive and encouraging.”

However Tania said the team will need more funding if it is to continue.

She added: “We can now continue training into November, but we will need more money to pay for more sessions.

“Along with my daughter I did a charity bike ride to Brighton which raised the money to pay for the sessions at the Felpham Rec.

“We have also started to send out letters to businesses asking for sponsorship.

“We need all the help we can get.”

Player Haydn Quilter said: “I am glad we can keep playing. I like playing in the matches and learning new skills. “I don’t really have a set position in the team, but I like playing in centre mid-field.”