Groups 'balled' over with CALA donations

Six sporting organisations supporting their local communities are among the recipients of this year’s CALA Homes Bursary, in partnership with the East Lothian Courier.

CALA Homes 22 July 2019

After careful consideration from a selection panel, consisting of CALA staff from different areas of the business and Robbie Scott, Editor of the East Lothian Courier, the six groups, along with seven other successful recipients, have been awarded a share of £10,000.

From highland dancing to community fairs, this year’s scheme has awarded grants to a variety of good causes around the region.

The six worthy causes below highlight some of the vital work being carried out in East Lothian, showing how CALA’s donations will help get both older and younger residents moving.

Bass Rocketeers Netball Club 

The Bass Rocketeers Netball Club provides opportunities for girls and women to play netball in North Berwick and the surrounding area. Awarded £450 from this year’s bursary fund, the money will be used to purchase vital kit. 

Sally Heatherington, coach with the Bass Rocketeers, said: “When we found out that our application had been successful we were in shock – we didn’t expect to be picked!

“The money from CALA will go towards purchasing new kit and equipment – from balls to bibs – which can be expensive. 

“We currently have 84 junior and 28 senior players who compete and play with the Bass Rocketeers, however we also run Bounce Back on Sundays which is an open space for all to play and Walking Netball on Tuesdays for women that want to continue to play a team sport but are no longer able to run.

“Bringing women and girls together to take part in the sport builds confidence and self-esteem, keeps them fit and provides an environment for socialising.

“We are currently only one of two netball clubs in East Lothian. It is our goal to get more girls and women enjoying the sport no matter their age or ability.”

Longniddry Tennis Club 

Located in the heart of Longniddry, Longniddry Tennis Club offers a range of activities and coaching for players of all abilities. With the sum of £400, the club will be able to open classes up further through additional coaching and court hire. 

Lucy Bryden, from Longniddry Tennis Club, said: “To be awarded the sum of £400 from the CALA Homes Community Bursary is fantastic.

“We plan on using the money to further support those who attend our club. We currently run classes for all ages and all ability classes which cater for children with physical, learning and or sensory disabilities supported by a paid coach and volunteer coaches.

“The £400 will allow us to bring in an additional coach to open up our classes – which are at capacity – to more children of all abilities and help with court hire.

“We want young people to be able to enjoy tennis and for it to be an affordable option for all.”

Musselburgh Rugby Football Club

Musselburgh Rugby Football Club is a community-based sports club for all ages, developing opportunities to allow people from across the Musselburgh area access to learn the sport, build upon their skills, form friendships and increase their confidence. The £800 injection will go towards new equipment which will aid training sessions.

Robin Veitch, from Musselburgh Rugby Football Club, said: “Musselburgh RFC is an inclusive sports club looking to develop opportunities for both boys and girls regardless of their ability and background.

 “The funding from CALA will be used to purchase equipment such as new balls, cones and bibs for tag rugby, which will aid training sessions.

“Many of our senior players started out when they were in Primary 3 and have continued to develop and play as they have grown.

“However, we would like to help more youngsters within the Musselburgh area discover the benefits of rugby while offering them the opportunity to thrive as part of a bustling community.”

Campie Primary School

Campie Primary School’s football teams provide children in Musselburgh with the opportunity to enjoy and participate in healthy competition. The £800 donation will be used to fund Samba Match Football Goals, allowing pupils to take part in home games.

Bernadette Blackie, Principal Teacher at Campie Primary School, said: “We cannot thank CALA Homes enough for selecting Campie School as one of this year’s recipients.

“Currently, our school football teams have never been able to host a home game as we do not have portable goals to use on our pitches. They have had to travel away to other venues in order to play.

“Therefore, the money from CALA Homes will provide two sets of portable football goals which pupils can use to train and take part in competitive matches and tournaments.

“We hope that this will allow children to meet and play with others, as well as encourage families to support the teams and get involved with the coaching.”

Dunbar Highland Dancers

Dunbar Highland Dancers is open to anyone over the age of four and is affiliated with the Scottish Official Highland Dancing Association (SOHDA). Awarded £750 from CALA, the school promotes the art of Highland Dancing by teaching pupils, performing, competing and through examinations.

Katharine Duguid, teacher with Dunbar Highland Dancers, said: “It was such a lovely surprise to find out that we’ve been awarded £750 from CALA Homes.

“We are planning to use some of the money provided by CALA to take three of our junior dancers over to a Celtic festival in the north-west of Spain. The girls are so excited to be going over and it will be a once in a lifetime opportunity for them to perform in Aviles.

“Highland Dancing can be such an expensive sport but the donation will help the families afford to send the children over to complete.

“We will also be using funds to replace some of our worn-out equipment such as dancing swords, which are vital for classes.”  

Black Diamond Thai Boxing Club CIC 

Based in Tranent, Black Diamond Thai Boxing Club focuses on re-engagement and development of groups who face challenges or disadvantage through innovative programmes and activities using the national sport of Thailand, Muay Thai, or Thai Boxing.

Awarded £750 from CALA Homes, the group plans to use the funding to buy essential equipment to allow anyone, including those from deprived areas, the chance to take up the sport.   

Jordan Butler, Chief Operations Officer with Black Diamond Thai Boxing Club, said: “We are over the moon to have been awarded the sum of £750 from the bursary. We are still in shock as we didn’t expect to be selected!

“We will use the money to purchase equipment such as new gloves and padding which our members can use while training. 

“We currently have 12 juniors and 10 seniors who attend, but we are always looking for people to give Thai Boxing a go and see the mental and physical benefits it can bring. 

“New kit will also allow those from more deprived areas who cannot afford gloves and pads to come along and take up the sport.”