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A Maesteg-based charity will soon be offering the Paralympic sport of boccia to local young people with learning difficulties after being awarded a £1,500 Community Chest grant.

'Every Link Counts' will use the grant for equipment needed to set up a new boccia club so that young people can experience the game, which is a form of petanque and bowls.

The Community Chest grants scheme is a Sport Wales funded initiative that is run locally by Bridgend County Borough Council and agreed by a panel of volunteers. Grants of up to £1,500 are available so that sports clubs, organisations and groups can help more people to get more active, more often.

Fourteen clubs, organisations and groups have received a share of nearly £18,000 in the latest round of grants, with Every Link Counts one of six to benefit from the maximum £1,500 award.

Among those also supported are Maesteg Canoe Club and Bridgend Canoe Club who are looking to provide more oar-some opportunities for people to take up their sport. The Maesteg club will use their funding to buy kayaks that are specifically made for younger paddlers and for members who have disabilities while the Bridgend club will spend their grant on training extra coaches to cater for the new members they have attracted recently.

The other clubs to receive Community Chest grants are: Bridgend Athletic Mini and Junior RFC, Tondu United F C, Taekwondo Cymru Bridgend, Nantyffyllon RFC, Aim 2 Tri, Porthcawl Runners, Yellow Wales, Pencoed Panthers, Ogmore Phoenix Runners, Bridgend County Swim Club and Bridgend Table Tennis Club.

Cllr Dhanisha Patel, Cabinet Member for Wellbeing and Future Generations, said: "Since the millennium, the Community Chest scheme has invested well over a million pounds into grassroots sport in Bridgend County Borough, helping to provide the equipment needed to set up new clubs and train up the volunteers who are the foundation of community sport.

"The panel are always particularly keen to receive applications from clubs, organisations and groups that want to create more inclusive sports opportunities that support people with disabilities, women and girls and disadvantaged communities also".

"I'd like to remind all other local sports clubs, organisations and groups that if you have an idea for creating new sporting opportunities but need a bit of a helping hand to make it a reality then the Community Chest scheme is there for you. Each club, organisation or group is entitled to apply for a maximum grant of £1,500 every year."

For further information about the Community Chest scheme, please visit the Sport Wales website at http://sport.wales/funding--support/our-grants/community-chest.aspx or contact Andrew Jones on 01656 642745 or andrew.jones2@bridgend.gov.uk

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