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The Finsbury Park Sports Partnership

On the days and evenings, when Heathside is not holding athletics sessions some other activity is taking place, for instance American Football or soccer practice, and the consortium hoping to take over the track includes the clubs which run these activities (London Blitz and Access to Sport) as well as newcomers to the Park the Crouch End YMCA, and Will to Win which runs tennis.
Heathside has already collaborated succesfully with the other members of the consortium in producing a bid document of a very high standard and containing a wealth of analysis and projections. This document is of such a high standard that the London Borough of Haringey has accepted the consortium as the preferred bidder to take over the running of the track. 
The bid document anticipates that the Finsbury Park Sports Partnership would consist of the following organisations:

  •  London Heathside Athletics Club
  •  Access to Sports  
  •  London Blitz American Football Club 
  •  Dynamic Sports Academy 
  •  Hornsey YMCA
  •  Will to Win Ltd  
  •  Try Tag Rugby 

and brief descriptions of these organisations is given below. Progress so far has been to create a company, the Finsbury Park Sports Partnership, made up of London Heathside Athletics Club,  Access to Sports ,  London Blitz American Football Club,  Dynamic Sports Academy and  Hornsey YMCA. This company is currently going through the process of applying for charitable status. Membership of the Partnership is not fixed and new member clubs will be able to join as necessary.

  •   London Heathside Athletics Club was formed out of a merger of several clubs some years ago and whose membership of over 400 has a wide range of interests. Club members participate in track and field athletics, road running, cross country, marathons, triathlons, fell running and multi-events. The club is run entirely by volunteers and financially depends primarily on subscriptions.
  •   The Access to Sports Project is a community led, innovative sports development project that has historically worked across the London Boroughs of Islington, Hackney & Haringey. The project originally started off working in the Finsbury Park regeneration area 6 years ago with 1 full time staff member.  Through a successful track record of project delivery and fundraising the Project now employs 9 full time and over 30 sessional members of staff. 
  •   London Blitz American Football Club  participates in The British American Football Asociation's National League which comprises 6 teams including two London-based teams London Warriors and London Blitz.  London Blitz is based at Finsbury Park Track. The club is the reigning British champion and the holder of the EFAF European Cup. 
  •   Dynamic Sports Academy is a  fitness and athlete development club  with about 50 members which primarily uses the Gym associated with the Track 
  •   Hornsey YMCA is based in Crouch End and currently runs a wide range of fitness activities and courses at its own gym and fitness centre with over 4,000 members. Hornsey YMCA has been serving the local community since 1929 and is one of the largest voluntary organisations in the London Borough of Haringey. Its services include a fitness centre, a children’s activity centre, an out of school childcare programme, and a youth project. The YMCA is keen to expand its fitness, out of school and youth activities to other sites including Finsbury Park Track where it can reach out to more disadvantaged communities.
  •   Will to Win Limited is the largest provider of public tennis courts in London, and will  operate and improve the tennis courts to the west of the park.
  •   Try Tag Rugby has used the site in the past for tag rugby games but this has been limited due to the issues with floodlights at the site 

Based on the breadth of this consortium and the good work it has already done in becoming preferred bidder a number of funding bodies have expressed support for the project. For example Sport England confirmed its interest in investing in the project and highlighted that the Inspired Facilities Fund was a funding stream which it has identified for asset transfer projects.  The Protecting Playing Fields Fund could also be a good source of funding for the project if a case can be made that the infield is limiting participation in sport because of its quality. 
Various other fuding agencies have already indicated support for the project at Finsbury Park Track and it is hoped that in order to save this site from closure and secure its future that an investment of up to £750,000 may be possible. More details can be released when applications are formally submitted. 

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