PM’s up for the cup

The Wokingham Paper - - FRONT PAGE - By PHIL CREIGHTON news@wok­ing­ham­pa­

Prime Min­is­ter – and lo­cal MP – Theresa May vis­ited the Berk­shire County Sports Club in Son­ning on Fri­day to open two re­fur­bished squash courts. As part of her visit, she pre­sented the club with a new Prime Min­is­ter’s Cup and also joined in some of the young­sters with the new dance craze the floss.

THE MAYOR of Wok­ing­ham Bor­ough had the priv­i­lege of help­ing the Prime Min­is­ter open two newly re­fur­bished squash courts in Son­ning on Fri­day.

Cllr John Kaiser watched as Theresa May cut the rib­bon at the Berk­shire Coun­try Sports Club, sur­rounded by young club mem­bers.

Then, after the Prime Min­is­ter in­spected the squash courts at the Son­ning Lane venue, she joined more club mem­bers to hand over the new Prime Min­is­ter’s Cup, which the club will present to a mem­ber at its June AGM.

And then she joined lo­cal chil­dren in the lat­est dance craze: the floss.

Young mem­bers of Wood­ley Saints Henry (9) and Vi­o­let (6) showed her how they could dance the floss, and the game Prime Min­is­ter fol­lowed suit.

She was at the sports club in her con­stituency to of­fi­cially open newly re­fur­bished squash courts at the Son­ning Lane club.

Cllr Kaiser made a speech re­it­er­at­ing the bor­ough coun­cil’s com­mit­ment to sports and leisure and em­pha­sis­ing that the club’s squash courts are part of its in­vest­ment in sports and leisure across the whole bor­ough.

He said: “It gives me great plea­sure to be here to­day to open yet an­other sports fa­cil­ity in the bor­ough and I thank the Prime Min­is­ter who, of course, is our lo­cal MP, for find­ing time in her very busy sched­ule to take part in the open­ing of this cen­tre.

“It is im­por­tant we recog­nise the vi­tal role the vol­un­tary sec­tor plays in sport, leisure and re­cre­ation across our bor­ough.

“The Berk­shire County Sports Club in Son­ning is run en­tirely by vol­un­teers and has pro­vided a wide range of high­qual­ity sports ac­tiv­i­ties for more than 60 years.

“I hope this in­vest­ment here in the squash courts demon­strates our con­tin­ued sup­port for the club and its mem­bers, which has now reached more than 1,000.”

He added: “Th­ese squash courts form an im­por­tant part in the bor­ough-wide in­vest­ment pro­gramme for sport and leisure fa­cil­i­ties across the whole bor­ough. We’re in­vest­ing mil­lions of pounds in im­prov­ing our leisure of­fer to res­i­dents at a time when other lo­cal au­thor­i­ties around the coun­try are look­ing to scale back leisure pro­vi­sion and close cen­tres.

“We be­lieve that fa­cil­i­ties such as th­ese are im­por­tant not only for the phys­i­cal and men­tal well­be­ing of res­i­dents, which also en­riches peo­ple’s lives through the so­cial as­pects that come with mem­ber­ships of clubs such as th­ese.”

Speak­ing to The Wok­ing­ham Pa­per af­ter­wards, the club’s vice pres­i­dent Kevin Mist said: “Our courts are a hid­den gem, not many peo­ple know they are there.

He added: “We have around 1,000 mem­bers for all kinds of sports in­clud­ing pool, rugby, hockey, ten­nis, squash, snooker and cricket.

“There are three types of rugby: league, union and touch rugby.”

He was also pleased that the Prime Min­is­ter had do­nated a cup.

“She was very happy to put her name to it,” he said. “It will be pre­sented to a mem­ber of the club who, dur­ing the year, has con­trib­uted the most to develop the club as a whole.”

Wok­ing­ham Bor­ough Coun­cil has in­vested £35,000 to re­fur­bish the squash courts at Berk­shire County Sports Club.

The courts are avail­able for mem­bers of the pub­lic to use, from 7am un­til 10pm, seven days a week and can be booked via the club’s web­site at: www.berk­shire­coun­tys­­line. Ses­sions cost £8 per court, the same price as other bor­ough fa­cil­i­ties.

Lo­cal vet­er­ans who play in the Berk­shire Vet­er­ans League as well as lo­cal busi­nesses in the Berk­shire Busi­ness Leagues all play their com­pet­i­tive matches at Berk­shire County Sports Club. Dur­ing school term-time, Blue Coat use the courts as part of their sports syl­labus.

Pic­ture: Phil Creighton

Pic­ture: Phil Creighton

Mem­bers of Berk­shire County Sports Club with the Prime Min­is­ter and Wok­ing­ham Bor­ough of­fi­cers at the re­launch of two squash courts at Son­ning venue, where she danced the floss (right) and pre­sented a new cup to the club (far right)

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