Club looks forward after securing town's sporting future

Bucks Free Press: Chairman Paul Sambrook alongside ball organiser Amber McDermott Chairman Paul Sambrook alongside ball organiser Amber McDermott

GOLD medal-winning Olympians will bring a touch of stardust to Marlow Sports Club’s biggest annual fundraiser as members put on their glad rags for a glamorous dinner and dance next month.

London 2012 kayak winner Ed McKeever and Paralympic champion Naomi Riches will join Team GB hockey medallist and club patron Alex Danson for the club’s Mid-Summer Ball on June 21.

The black-tie event at the Pound Lane headquarters will feature a live jazz band, dinner, dancing, a silent auction and a Q and A session with the Olympic stars.

Organising committee chair Amber McDermott said: "This means so much to the club and to get the support of the athletes is just amazing.

"As well as donating their time, they have also donated items for the auction. Their involvement has really been above and beyond.

"The club has been a fixture in Marlow for years and now the land has secured its future and our goal is for it be an important part of Marlow for many more years to come.

"The debt on the site has been reduced in just over two years by £500,000, helped by the town being very generous through their various fundraising efforts on our behalf, grants from England Hockey and The National Hockey Foundation and of course the membership."

Marlow Sports Club has now secured 20 acres of land in trust for the town’s sporting future after being faced with eviction from the Pound Lane site when owner Whitbread Brewery put the land up for sale in 2006.

But after Marlow rallied round to protect the community club, around half a million pounds has been raised for the registered charity towards the £1.2million sale.

Sir Steve Redgrave, Sir Clive Woodward, Andrew Strauss and olympic hockey player Alex Danson are patrons for the club.

Facilities at its Pound Lane home include an all-weather hockey pitch, a cricket pitch with nets, floodlit tennis courts, junior football pitches and a clubhouse with a bar and changing rooms.

The club is home to successful groups the Marlow Striders, Marlow Riders, Marlow Colts FC, Marlow Cricket Club, Marlow Tennis Club and Marlow Hockey Club.

Last year, the board acquired a further nine and a half acres of land to increase the size of the riverside site to 20 acres.

And with around 2000 members and 1500 young people using the facilities, the club stands proudly behind its mission statement of being ‘life and soul of Marlow’ for sport.

Paul Sambrook, club chairman, said: "All the trustees are committed to building on our proud past and to constantly find ways of improving the facilities in ways such as attracting more sports options; providing wheelchair friendly access and improving the Clubhouse space for broader use by community groups. We really do see an exciting future"

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