Sports club celebrate national energy efficiency award

A sports club in Desford, Leicestershire is celebrating after winning a national award at The Association of Decentralised Energy Awards Event 2020/21.

Sport in Desford (SiD) were announced as the winner of the Power and Flexibility: Operational Award at the virtual award ceremony held on 16th June 2021.

Jim Houghton, development officer at SiD said: “We are delighted to have won this award, which is an amazing achievement for a small community sports organisation up against national energy providers.

“This was achieved in no smaller part on account of the continued advice and financial support from the Tarmac Landfill Communities Fund, and their fund administrators Derbyshire Environmental Trust. We can’t thank them enough for their help over the years.”

SiD received two grants from the Tarmac Landfill Communities Fund, the first in 2014 receiving £24,787 to fund their Solar Electricity Generation Project, and again in 2018 when they received £4,4674 towards their Battery Backup to Solar Power Project.

Over the past 12 years SiD has worked hard to improve energy efficiency at the club, including replacing the propane boilers with modern condensing natural gas boilers, double insulating of the clubhouse building, installation of 176 solar panels across all available roof space and installing LED lighting.

In addition, the club has installed six Tesla Powerwall batteries to save daytime solar energy to power the floodlights in the evening, as well as installing a double Electric Vehicle Charging Station in the front car park for public use. As a result, SiD is a net generator of electricity on an annual basis.

Dr Luke Evans, MP for Hinckley and Bosworth said: “Congratulations to Sport in Desford for their national award in recognition of their continued efforts to be eco-friendly over the last 10 years. Their fantastic achievement demonstrates how a local community sports organisation can make such a significant impact on the national green agenda, taking a pro-active approach to improve our environment.

“I recently had the pleasure to visit their first-class facilities and see these changes firsthand and was thoroughly impressed. I’m pleased to see a hub of sporting activity done in an eco-friendly manner, right here in the heart of our community delivering on so many levels. Well done!”

Ross Halley, head of asset management at Tarmac said: “We would like to congratulate Sport in Desford on achieving this award. It’s great to see a project we have supported receiving this type of national recognition for all their commitment and hard work.”

In addition to the support received from the Tarmac Landfill Communities Fund, Sport in Desford also received funding from Leicestershire County Council Shire Climate Change grants, Parish and Community Initiative Fund, Sport England, Bailey Wills Legacy, Maud Elkington Charitable Trust and Pure Leapfrog British Airways Fund.

Sport in Desford is a voluntary non-profit making organisation operating as a Registered Charity (No. 1100319) and set up by the Desford Parish Council in 1988 to promote sport and recreation in the local community. It has a strong inclusive and environmental ethos providing facilities for the local football, tennis, bowls, squash, netball and running clubs, scouts, gym and a dozen indoor activities.

Under normal conditions around 1,000 people use the facilities every week, although this remains at a lower level currently due to the restrictions of the Covid -19 pandemic.