STOLEN property has benefited a newly-formed Bognor Regis sports team.
The Bognor Rugby Academy received the £500 boost from Sussex Police from the items.
The donation has come from the Police Property Act Fund, made up of monies received by the police from the sale of unclaimed lost property and property confiscated by order of the courts and then sold.
PCSO Neil Billingham, of the police’s Arun prevention team, presented the cheque, pictured above.
The academy was created this year to combine players from the under-17 and under-18 age groups.
In a joint statement, coaches Doug Millen, Rob Outen and Tom Spurle said the money had been spent on new training equipment. This included tackle bags and pads.
“We want to create a special project that will engage, inspire and lead young local teenagers through the power of sport, especially rugby,” they said.
“Player retention is always very difficult at this age. It is easy for teenagers to find other things to do that are quite often not productive or healthy.
“As boys move into their A-level and college years, we see a big drop off in attendance, losing many players to other activities.
“Through this academy, we will be creating a player pathway from youth to senior rugby. Players will be able to play at the most appropriate level for their own development, either staying at age grade, playing up to the older colts level and, eventually, when they are ready – and old enough – moving into the senior teams.”
The Bognor Rugby Academy will involve boys aged between 16 and 18 and offer free gym access, outdoor fitness sessions, rugby coaching and mentoring.
It will be accessible for all those in the Bognor Regis area in that age category.
“We also have some fantastic ‘memory builders’ planned which will motivate and inspire the boys to have a lifelong interest in sport and healthy living,” said Doug, Rob and Tom.
The academy is based at Bognor Rugby Club’s ground in Hampshire Avenue. The club is open to new players of any age group. Youth teams train and play on Wednesdays and Sundays. Sessions for seniors are on Tuesdays, Thursday and Saturdays.