10 Mar 2006
Floodlight improvement - the history
INAUGURATION - ANTTI'S COMING!!!!
Well, we promised our sponsors when they gave us the money for improving our floodlights that we would hold an Inaugural Event, to thank them, and to try to stimulate interest in the game within the local community. This is now organised for Tuesday 9th March, starting at 6.30pm.
The format of the event will be a "come-and-try" and competition for members of the Millbrook RFC Colts section and pupils at Millbrook School. In addition to club members, we will have a BPA National Vice-President, the Regional President, the National & Youth Development Officers, and the Regional Youth Coach on hand to provide advice and guidance to the youngsters. The Outer Shirley Regeneration Board and the Royal Bank of Scotland will be represented for the formal inauguration at about 8pm, at which certificates will be presented to the participants and prizes awarded to the top three teams.
But the main attraction is sure to be that Southampton Football Club have offered Saints' and Finland's Antti Niemi - surely the best goalkeeper in the Premier League - to come and do the honours for us! This should help to ensure both a good turnout and some high profile publicity for our sport, our club and our sponsors. All we want now is for whoever looks after the weather to be kind to us!
News today (8th March 2003) that our bid to Southampton City Council's Outer Shirley Regeneration initiative for funding our long dreamed-of floodlighting improvement has been successful! Along with the Community Cashback Award from the Royal Bank of Scotland, in recognition of our Treasurer's contribution to the community, and some club funding, we can now afford to get the work under way as soon as possible. Depending on contractor D&M Electrical's workload, we hope we may have the lights installed before the start of the league playing season (see Updates below).
A publicity event with a well-known local figure is planned to formally "switch-on" the new lights, when we can say a big, public "thank-you" to our two sponsors - and hopefully do our bit to promote the sport of pétanque in the area, and maybe even gain some new members! Thanks again also to Adrian Thomas, BPA Southern Region President, for his support.
Site works are due to start on Monday 31 March.
Update 01/04/03 (not a joke!)
Start delayed until Thursday 3 April....
Update 04/04/03 - in progress!
...the poles, lights and cables are in place and the internal connections are due to be made by Tuesday night in time for the first 9-a-side match!
Update 08/04/03 - in use for the first time!
The new lights illuminated our first home 9-a-side match of the season, a narrow victory against Ship Wrights. Major improvement (the lights, as well as the victory!).
Club members know that we have been trying for years, without success, to get the City Council (as our landlords) to improve the terrain floodlighting through the Lord's Hill Outdoor Recreation Centre User Group (LHORCUG), because we feel that the current "one-sided" lighting is "unfit for purpose".
As reported last year, we made a first bid for funding for improvements to the lights from the new "Community Chest Small Grants Scheme", launched by Southampton City Council as part of the Outer Shirley Regeneration Project, but that bid was not successful. One of the scheme criteria was the upgrading of sports facilities, and initial enquiries indicated that our bid appeared to meet these criteria, but our bid was rather hastily assembled and was perhaps not convincing enough to attract the funding.
This year we have assembled a comprehensive bid, which includes a sound estimate from an electrical contractor who is recognised as reputable by the City Council. We also have the Royal Bank of Scotland Community Cashback grant, obtained for us by our Treasurer, as additional "leverage" for our bid, plus a letter of support from Adrian Thomas, the BPA Southern Region President - thank you Adrian!
The bid will be considered at an SCPC Committee meeting at 8pm on Tuesday 28th January and then finalised for submission to the City Council before the deadline of 31st January. Watch this space!