£50,000 Olympics grant will buy gliding launcher

Oxford Mail: From left, Windrushers Gliding Club's Alan Smith, Qin Cao, George Tvalashvili and Bob King Buy this photo » From left, Windrushers Gliding Club's Alan Smith, Qin Cao, George Tvalashvili and Bob King

GLIDING enthusiasts have won a £50,000 grant for new equipment on the back of last year’s Olympic Games.

Windrushers Gliding Club, based at the airfield at the former RAF Bicester, off Skimmingdish Lane, made a successful bid for the cash from Sport England’s Inspired Facilities fund.

It is one of 1,000 sports clubs across the country to get funding and each will be able to carry the London 2012 Inspire mark to celebrate the link to the Games.

Windrushers plan to spend the cash on a winch which is used to launch gliders. The current device is more than 60 years old and coming to the end of its life.

Club chairman Bob King said: “We are delighted and grateful for the grant of £50,000 we have received from Sport England.

“The UK is a world-leading nation in the sport and we are proud to be one of the leading gliding clubs in the country, with National and European champions among our members.

“This money, which has been granted to upgrade our launching facility, will support us in our work as a BGA accredited ‘Junior Gliding Centre’ introducing and training young people to the exciting and rewarding sport of gliding, and will ensure that we continue to offer our local community a world class facility.

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Club director Lee Hitchins said the new winch will give it a low cost, reliable launch facility that will benefit all 250 flying members.

He said: “The grant was awarded because of our community volunteer scheme, which allows people to become members by volunteering their time to help out around the club.

“It was also awarded for the cadet scheme, in which we take on a number of 15 to 17-year-olds per year and help fund their initial training.”

Mr Hitchins said the club would be shopping for the winch soon.

Sport England’s chairman Richard Lewis, said: “This National Lottery investment is helping us deliver a lasting sporting legacy in Oxfordshire.

“With so many clubs in the south having benefited from this fund already, this is the legacy people want for their local community.”

  • RAF Bicester is in the process of being sold by its owner the MoD, and the buyer is expected to be announced at the end of March

Comments (7)

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9:56am Fri 8 Feb 13

steve1955 says...

Gliding a sport?
thought it was a hobby
Gliding a sport? thought it was a hobby steve1955

11:43am Fri 8 Feb 13

Quentin Walker says...

Before the winch is installed, would it not be prudent to ensure the club will be able to operate from the field after it is sold?
Before the winch is installed, would it not be prudent to ensure the club will be able to operate from the field after it is sold? Quentin Walker

4:49pm Sat 9 Feb 13

redstolly says...

Gliding is a sport. We race gliders cross country. At Bicester a number or present and past European and World medal winners regularly practice from here.
Gliding is a sport. We race gliders cross country. At Bicester a number or present and past European and World medal winners regularly practice from here. redstolly

6:13pm Sat 9 Feb 13

steve1955 says...

Rather exclusive sport how much does a glider cost?
Somewhat a game for the rich?
If they can afford thousands for a glider cant they get the money for a winch?
Rather exclusive sport how much does a glider cost? Somewhat a game for the rich? If they can afford thousands for a glider cant they get the money for a winch? steve1955

10:41pm Sat 9 Feb 13

Hitch1980 says...

Steve1955

A Glider can cost between £1000 and £100,000 the one in the photo probably around £5k. The club is also a CASC as as such is non profit and entitled to try from grants.

I suggest you come and give it a try, you would be most welcom and the experience would change your life.
Steve1955 A Glider can cost between £1000 and £100,000 the one in the photo probably around £5k. The club is also a CASC as as such is non profit and entitled to try from grants. I suggest you come and give it a try, you would be most welcom and the experience would change your life. Hitch1980

10:44pm Sat 9 Feb 13

Hitch1980 says...

Quentin Walker wrote:
Before the winch is installed, would it not be prudent to ensure the club will be able to operate from the field after it is sold?
The good thing about this type of launch facility is that it can be taken with the club in the event that the field cant be used after the sale.
[quote][p][bold]Quentin Walker[/bold] wrote: Before the winch is installed, would it not be prudent to ensure the club will be able to operate from the field after it is sold?[/p][/quote]The good thing about this type of launch facility is that it can be taken with the club in the event that the field cant be used after the sale. Hitch1980

11:13pm Sat 9 Feb 13

steve1955 says...

Hitch thanks for the offer but im to heavy and suffer from claustrophobia
Hitch thanks for the offer but im to heavy and suffer from claustrophobia steve1955

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