Mem­bers pitch in to make up new ground fund­ing short­fall

£50,000 will go some way to help­ing Amer­sham and Chal­font en­joy the facilities teams de­serve

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - SPORT -

The club, who boast a mem­ber­ship of around 600, have been play­ing for many years on a de­crepit pitch at New­land Park in Chal­font, which they reckon is one of the old­est in the coun­try – and it shows.

They an­nounced plans a year and a half ago to cre­ate a new home at Amer­sham & Wy­combe Col­lege, which fi­nally got the green light in Fe­bru­ary hav­ing ini­tially been turned down by Chiltern Dis­trict Coun­cil.

In the mean­time they left New­land Park be­hind last sea­son to play at home over the county bound­ary at the Royal Ma­sonic School in Rick­mansworth, hop­ing it would be a tem­po­rary fix.

But their fu­ture plans hit the buf­fers this month when it was found that orig­i­nal es­ti­mates for the cost of the development fell short by £50k, leav­ing a sig­nif­i­cant fund­ing short­fall.

Yet mem­bers have ral­lied round and dug deep, mean­ing there are only as few more hur­dles to jump be­fore work can hope­fully be­gin next month.

Club chair­man Peter Rowl­ins said: “The ac­tual cost of the pitches, build­ings and so on were quite a lot more than we had been quoted, so we were faced with the choice of fund­ing the gap our­selves or putting the club’s fu­ture in doubt.

“Thank­fully we have a large mem­ber­ship and are in quite an af­flu­ent area, so for in the re­gion of £100 per mem­ber, it looks like we have been able to se­cure what we need – al­though there are still a few more mat­ters to at­tend to.”

The ups and downs off the pitch have not af­fected per­for­mances on it, with the men’s first team win­ning the MBBO Di­vi­sion One ti­tle last sea­son and the ladies mak­ing up for the dis­ap­point­ment of los­ing out on pro­mo­tion at the death in the Trys­ports Pre­mier by win­ning the In­vestec Women’s Vase.

If all goes well the club could be in their new home by the new year, but will con­tinue play­ing at the Royal Ma­sonic in the mean­time, with the new sea­son be­gin­ning next month.

Mean­while, Ger­rards Cross Hockey Club are on the look­out for new play­ers, par­tic­u­larly adults, and would love to hear from any­one in­ter­ested in join­ing. They are also look­ing for a level two coach to as­sist John Shaw with the ju­niors. Visit clubs/ger­rard­scross for more de­tails.

Kate Wooldridge (right), in ac­tion for Amer­sham & Chal­font Ladies, could play at the club’s new home in the new year.

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