A SPORTING community are over the moon after the long-awaited delivery of changing rooms they have campaigned eagerly for.
Greatham Sports Field Association works tirelessly on the upkeep and development of the playing field in Greatham Village, Hartlepool.
And for several years its goal has been to raise enough cash to have changing facilities at the site to allow the hosting of football games, and other sporting events, on the field.
Now though, all of their hard work has come to fruition after two 30ft portable cabins and a toilet block were delivered.
It represents a huge step forward for Greatham Sports Field Association and also the Greatham Bull and Dog Football Club, and paves the way for more exciting times ahead.
Mark Sickling, committee member of the association, and also co-manager of the village football Club, even believes the team will be able to host it’s first match at the start of the season in August.
He said: “We are all over the moon, we have waited such a long time for this.
“We’ve raised £4,000 as a sports field over the last two years and these cabins cost us £2,200. The next big expense for us is going to be for utilities such as water, sewerage and electricity.
“That’s going to hold us back, but while we can’t have running water on the field we’ll just bring water over for the likes of teas and coffees.
“It’s such a step forward, it’s just great.”
Mark, 48, added: “I’m a Greatham lad born and bred and I still cannot believe that we are not playing our football games out of the village.
“We have this vision, and we want all sorts down there eventually with a real community feel. We can picture football games, people playing tenis, teas and coffees being served, picnic tables - a lovely little atmosphere.”
Dad-of-two Mark says the committee is also “over the moon” with the amount of help that has been offered up by local people and businesses to make the dream a reality.
He paid particular thanks to local farmer Mick Herbert, of Brierton Farm, who runs Quads 4 All, for supplying the group with heavy machinery and labour.
Mark, who now lives a short distance from the village on the Fens estate, said: “This coming weekend we are hoping to get the football team down to help with scraping and painting, and we’ll get a few of the kids involved as well.
“A lot of people really are backing us and it’s a great feeling.
“There are so many people who want this to happen and we’re determined it will.”
The Greatham Sports Field Association, which has to find £2,000 per year just for the sports field upkeep and rent, has been running for 17 years and fundraising for changing facilities for the last several years.