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Hockey ace Jonty Clarke inspires next generation

24th September 2012

The National Lottery has celebrated its investment in sport today by bringing Team GB Hockey ace, Jonty Clarke, to his old stomping ground to pass on tips to youngsters keen to follow in his footsteps.

The London 2012 player joined members of his former club, Old Sothendians, where he gave the young team a hockey masterclass, inspiring the next generation of athletes.

The masterclass coincided with the official opening of the hockey club’s new pitch. The Club has received National Lottery funding from Sport England’s Inspired Facilities fund, meaning more people can get involved and enjoy the sport.

The Inspired Facilities fund is part of the Places People Play legacy programme that is bringing the magic of a home Olympic and Paralympic Games into communities across the country.

Sport England Chair, Richard Lewis, said: “Thanks to National Lottery funding we’ve been able to invest in community sports clubs like Old Sothendians and ensure they can look back on 2012 as the year their local sports facilities got better, as well as the year the Games came to our country.

“The Inspired Facilities fund has really hit the mark with sports clubs across the country, with over 700 clubs having benefitted already, showing we’re offering the legacy that people want for their local community.”

The Essex forward showed the youngsters the skill which took him all the way to the London 2012 Olympic Games, where he helped Team GB to a fourth place position.

Jonty Clarke said, “Without National Lottery funding I wouldn’t be able to compete at the level I do. I’m here today to inspire the next generation and to give something back to the club which started my passion for hockey.

“The new pitch is absolutely amazing. I really hope that it will bring more people to the club and that generations to come will enjoy the sport that I love so much.”

Clarke is one of 1,200 National Lottery funded elite athletes, which allows him to compete and train to the highest of international standards.

Current Old Southendians player, Nick Chandler said, “Lottery funding has made a big impact to the development of our game. The funding has helped many clubs and schools develop and provided astro turf pitches, improving our game.

“When I started playing for Old Southendian hockey club all games were on grass and then in the 1990’s astro turf was introduced and this really changed the way that the game was played.”


Notes to editors

Notes to Editors:

  • National Lottery players have raised over £28 billion for Good Causes since the Lottery started in 1994. Over £6 billion of this has been invested in sport.
  • Up to £2.2 billion of National Lottery funding has been invested in venues and the infrastructure of The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games – helping to make the Games possible.
  • National Lottery funding enables 1200 elite UK athletes to benefit from world class coaching, facilities and medical support.
  • National Lottery funding is also inspiring future generations by upgrading local sports clubs and facilities, and providing opportunities for thousands more people to enjoy sport.

For more information go to

Contact: / 07773 044 593

Inspired Facilities

Inspired Facilities is part of the Places People Play legacy programme. At least £52 million will be invested through Inspired Facilities. This is the second of five funding rounds, with the third round opening on 23 July. At least £35 million of the funding will go to community and voluntary organisations, through grants of between £20,000 and £50,000. The remaining funding will be open to a wider group of organisations, including councils and schools, with grants of up to £150,000 available.

To make sure the technical elements of the application process don’t put off groups with good projects, Sport England has created a catalogue of typical facilities developments and improvements, based on what sports clubs have told us they need.

Places People Play

Places People Play is a £135 million National Lottery programme being delivered by Sport England, in partnership with the British Olympic Association (BOA) and the British Paralympic Association (BPA) with the backing of The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) and the London 2012 Inspire mark.

Sport England

Sport England is focused on the delivery of a lasting legacy for community sport beyond the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.