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How it all began

The Spectrum Spartans are the only rink hockey club in County Durham, with the next nearest offering in Middlesbrough. A unique opportunity for young people, the club is now reaching even more young people thanks to a 2019 grant of £1,555 through County Durham Community Foundation, from the Culture and Sport Small Grant Scheme.

The club has had some great competitive successes, including winning a cup final last year, against Grimsby, so offers real opportunity for children who want to be part of competitive success.

One of the young players, Bailey, 14, has been talent spotted and is now training in Peterborough for the England team.

NRHA director, Carlos Amaral, has visited to coach the club in the past, and the young people are encouraged to fundraise for costs too, through bag packs and a Christmas fair.

Making a difference

Chair of the Spectrum Spartans, Lisa Horner, said:

“It can be an expensive sport to come into. Children who want to play roller hockey need the correct boots that will give them proper support. By being able to offer this equipment, we can encourage families to keep coming, rather than them being put off by the expense.

“The funding is great because it means we can keep subs down and make the sessions more accessible. It also allows us to offer the first session for free. We are only a small club but the funding allows us to do so much more.

“We’re a very close-knit club and everybody gets involved. All of the parents are on the committee and the kids get on really well. We are like a family and we just want to encourage more children to come along.

“Our teenagers are now training to become coaches and referees and that opportunity has come from the club. We are really proud that they are giving so much to the sport.

“The children become very fit through this sport and it’s so important that we, as parents, do our bit to drag them away from their mobile phones, and encourage them to do a sport that they really enjoy.”

With thanks to you

The grant has helped the Spartans fund some of the hall hire costs for the team, which allowed them to run ‘learn to skate’ sessions on Saturday mornings, alongside their roller hockey training session. The remainder of the funding was used for flyers to promote the group and encourage children to join, and to buy skates to be used by children starting out, as this equipment is very expensive.

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“Our teenagers are now training to become coaches and referees and that opportunity has come from the club. We are really proud that they are giving so much to the sport"

Lisa Horner - Chair of the Spectrum Spartans