02 AUG 2018

Grass Roots Sport

Every now and then a sporting Champion emerges with a humility that belies their achievement. I'd include people like Sir Andy Murray, Sir Steve Redgrave and Dame Kelly Holmes in that category; people whose immediate thoughts are for those who brought them to the top of the world from games, sports and activities in childhood.

And so it was again on Sunday with Geraint Thomas, the victor of arguably the world's toughest cycling challenge, the Tour De France. Even in his moment of glory, he took the time to thank his first cycling club (at the age of 10), the Maindy Flyers, which he still visits regularly to give something back.

His words on the Champs Elysees were an inspiration as Geraint reiterated the importance of believing in your dreams, working hard and staying resilient. He resonated with so many of us who know how success in sport generates self-esteem and confidence, something that has certainly helped me throughout my life.

In Maidstone and the Weald we are blessed with some fantastic clubs where people of all ages can experience playing sport, be it just for fun or to chase a dream; click here for just a few of them.

These organisations, and the volunteers who are their beating heart, play a crucial role in society and our communities and for this reason we must do more than offer recognition and thanks. We must back them with investment, particularly in facilities, to allow our grass roots volunteers to continue to deliver the opportunities that sport provides to all who want it.

There are several pots of money out there to help with grass roots sport funding, some large, and some less so. If I can be of assistance with any applications, through letters of support or making other representations, please write to me or make a surgery appointment. I'm always ready to help: helen.grant.mp@parliament.uk.

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Helen's column

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