Volunteers rally round to save Sheringham Sports Association

A threatened town sports association has been saved after parents and sports club members turned out in force in response to an 11th hour plea for support.

Monday's annual meeting of Sheringham Sports Association saw the current committee swollen from three to eight, with up to 40 people attending to bolster the organisation.

The association leases and manages Sheringham Rec, which is used as a public space and also by youth and adult football, cricket and tennis clubs.

In February, association chairman Charles Sanders issued a call-to-arms after admitting that he and treasurer Steve Hudson were on the brink of resigning because of a lack of support.

The move would have left no-one in charge, and meant the lease would return to site owner North Norfolk District Council.

But after the meeting Mr Sanders - who agreed to remain as chairman - was in an upbeat mood.

He said: 'It was a very good turnout. We've now got a full committee of eight, instead of the previous three. Hopefully there will now be a lot more interest in what's going on.'

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Mr Sanders said the new committee included Tim Groves as vice chairman and Sharon Hammond as secretary.

He added: 'It was just wonderful to fill all the vacancies and to hear a positive attitude from the floor, both the parents and the user groups.

'As long as everybody pulls together, things should be fine.'

Representatives from Sheringham Town Council and the district council were at the meeting, with the district having brokered a previous get-together to try to secure the association's future.

Mr Sanders said the first pressing need was to begin fundraising. He said the association had benefited from donations from local businessman Clive Hay-Smith, but said: 'Now we've got to stand on our own two feet.'

He added: 'Monday's meeting was make or break. If nobody else had turned up it would've been very difficult to continue.'

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