Minister of State at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Tracey Crouch MP, visited Plymouth today, Friday 31st March, to speak to a packed out room full of local sports clubs at Plymouth Argyle Football Club, Home Park.
Visiting the city to view preparations for the Mayflower 400 celebrations in 2020, the Minister found time to meet with local MP, Johnny Mercer, and Plymouth Argyle Chairman, James Brent, club CEO Martin Starnes, and Mark Lovell, Head of Argyle in the Community. The Sports Minister then set aside time to speak to representatives from 50 of the city’s grassroots sports clubs in a q&a session.
The meetings, which covered issues from funding for sports club to multi-use sport pitches, took place in the Tribute Lounge at Home Park.
Speaking after the event, Sports Minister Tracey Crouch, said:
“Local sports clubs are the bedrock of communities across the country. They nurture talent and are fundamental to encouraging people to get active and enjoy sport.
“It has been absolutely fantastic to come to Home Park and meet so many passionate advocates of sport in Plymouth and hear their views of how we can best support the grassroots.
“Sport has a unique power to transform people’s lives and we are completely committed to encouraging people to get active. This is why over the next four years, Sport England, through exchequer and National Lottery funding, will be investing £250m to tackle inactivity, encouraging people to participate in sport as well as continuing investment in facilities and community sport clubs.”
Event organiser, Johnny Mercer MP, said:
“I was very happy to finally get long time and avid Argyle fan, Tracey Crouch to Plymouth. Having bought her an Argyle baby-gro for her new-born child last year from the Argyle shop, it was only a matter of time before she came to Plymouth.
“The Minister and I are both aware of the importance of sports clubs within local communities, encouraging positive health practices and creating the next generation of top sporting talent.
“From Grand Slam winning tennis champions to Gold medal Olympians, Plymouth has a history of producing top sporting talent. In order to keep doing this, it is important that the grass roots clubs are able to feed into the national-level decision making and that was the point of today.
“I think today was a great success and I am very grateful for both the Minister’s time and for Plymouth Argyle hosting such an excellent event.”
Plymouth Argyle Chairman, James Brent, on hand to host the meetings, said:
“We have been delighted to welcome Tracey, in her capacity both as Minister of State and as a member of the Green Army, and privileged to host this event for her. We thank Johnny Mercer for organising the meeting.
“Plymouth Argyle sees excellence in sport and the health, engagement and well-being of our community as being core to what we are about.
“We take pride in what manager Derek Adams and his staff and team are achieving on the pitch, but, equally, we take pride in Argyle in the Community hosting 6,500 primary school children a week through its programmes and investing more than £1.5m per annum back into our community.
“2020 is a very important anniversary, not only for our city and region, but also for several other communities across the UK. We hope that Plymouth Argyle will play a full part in commemorating this with a number of events at Home Park.”