U9s football team can continue training thanks to funding

Hitchin Marvels

A donation by CALA Homes meant Hitchin Marvels were able to purchase portable goals, enabling them to continue training after their usual ground became unavailable - Credit: CALA Homes

A football team in Hitchin has been able to maintain training sessions and enter new football tournaments, thanks to a £600 cash boost from CALA Homes North Home Counties’ community bursary scheme.

Hitchin Town Marvels is an under-9s team which plays in the TrophyUK.net Royston Crow Youth Football League.

Due to the pandemic, the team’s usual training ground became unavailable, and so the team and its coaches needed to find a way to continue to be able to train.

Hitchin Marvels

A donation by CALA Homes meant Hitchin Marvels were able to purchase portable goals, enabling them to continue training after their usual ground became unavailable - Credit: CALA Homes

Thanks to the funding from CALA Homes, the team were able to buy portable goals, meaning they could now train more flexibly on public sports fields.

The money also went to new training equipment for the players and entering into the Hertfordshire FA Youth Futsal Tournament. 

Hitchin Marvels

CALA Homes’ Community Bursary initiative invites charities and community groups to apply for a share of funding - Credit: CALA Homes

Eugene Dunkley, manager and coach of Hitchin Town Marvels, said: “The lads have been training and playing together now for nearly four years, and we were determined to not allow the impact of the pandemic to prevent them from continuing to play together.

“We are grateful to CALA Homes for providing the team with some much-needed equipment and clothing. The goals have enabled us to continue training when our previous training ground became unavailable and the jackets have protected the boys from a rain shower or two already!”

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CALA Homes’ Community Bursary initiative invites charities and community groups to apply for a share of funding.

The scheme was paused in 2020 as a result of the March lockdown but was re-launched in 2021.

Glenn Copper, sales and marketing director for CALA Homes, North Home Counties, said: “The last 12 months have been particularly hard for the charity and volunteering sectors, with many seeing reduced funding at a time when local communities need their services most.

"We know that this year’s bursary will mean a great deal to Hitchin Town Marvels and the other organisations selected, and we can’t wait to follow their progress and see how the donations will make a real difference to local people.

“We would like to thank everyone who took the time to apply to the CALA Community Bursary this year and congratulate each and every one of them on the fantastic work they are doing within their communities.”