Archive for the ‘Sport’ Category

County league football comes to Little Stoke

Posted on Tuesday 11th October 2016 at 5:54 pm by SH (Editor)

Little Stoke FC players walk out for their first home game in the Gloucestershire County League, against Frampton United, on Saturday 27th August 2016.

Following a great deal of hard work behind the scenes, Little Stoke FC were invited to join the Gloucestershire County League for the 2016/17 season and played their first home game at Little Stoke Park on Saturday 27th August.

Prerequisites for acceptance into the league included the installation of pitch perimeter barriers and trainers’ boxes (dugouts) for the home and away teams, and the provision of separate changing facilities for match officials.

Funding for the ground improvements came from housebuilder ‘S106’ contributions arising from the Charlton Hayes development, but much of the labour was provided free of charge by club members.

In their first home game, the team were held to a 0-0 draw by visitors Frampton United. Their first league win came a week later when they won 2-1 away to Gala Wilton. The next home game, on 10th September, saw a sizeable crowd turn out at Little Stoke Park to watch a local derby match against Patchway Town, which the visitors edged 1-0.

First team manager Ashley Coles said:

“I would like to thank all the club members who, collectively, have put in an enormous amount of work to ensure that the club’s ground could qualify for county league standard”.

“On behalf of the club, I would also like to thank Stoke Gifford Parish Council for all the support they have given us in this project, both financially and through the help offered by their staff.”

“The club is pleased to hear that the parish council has announced plans to extend Little Stoke Community Hall, including the provision of new changing facilities and a café, which will further enhance Little Stoke Park as a venue for county league football.”

More: News and fixtures for Little Stoke FC »

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Sporting Hero award for taekwondo student

Posted on Thursday 12th May 2016 at 11:19 pm by SH (Editor)

Phoebe Grandfield, a member of Stoke Gifford Taekwon-do.

Stoke Gifford Taekwondo (TKD) student Phoebe Grandfield, 19, has been awarded the Bristol Young Sporting Hero title for 2016.

Phoebe was nominated by her tutors at SGS College and her instructor at Stoke Gifford TKD, Miss Kerry Burridge.

She has been training in taekwondo since the age of 5 and has faced many difficulties and obstacles including severe epilepsy, autism, ADHD and learning difficulties. Despite all of these, Phoebe has gone on to achieve a 3rd degree black belt in taekwondo as well as a place in the Team UK squad and a subsequent world bronze medal in 2014 and a European gold medal in 2015, in the power breaking discipline.

She was notified in February that she had made it through as a finalist and was then invited to the award evening that was held in the Wills Memorial Building in Bristol on Friday 1st April.

Phoebe was joined by her family, taekwondo instructor and friends from Stoke Gifford TKD.

The awards were preceded by a lovely dinner with over 200 other hopeful finalists, friends, family and celebrities.

Phoebe’s category was the fifth one to be announced and, as with the other nominees, a short video was shown beforehand. Filmed in February, this showed Miss Burridge talking about Phoebe’s achievements.

After all videos had been shown, it was Big Brother 2011 star Josie Gibson who announced and presented the award. Phoebe was both shocked and elated when her name was revealed as the winner!

A very excited Phoebe made her way to the stage to collect her award and give a brief speech, thanking the people who were important to her achieving so much and overcoming the obstacles that she faces.

More: Sophie praised for "high level of dedication and determination" »

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Parkrun vote sparks national media frenzy

Posted on Tuesday 3rd May 2016 at 9:21 pm by SH (Editor)

A BBC reporter interviews a runner in Little Stoke Park on the morning of the cancelled parkrun on 16th April 2016.

A decision by Stoke Gifford Parish Council to insist on a financial contribution from the organisers of a popular free weekly run held in Little Stoke Park sparked a media frenzy last month, with the story featuring for several days in national newspapers and on TV news bulletins.

One of hundreds of similar events that take place around the country at 9am every Saturday morning, Little Stoke parkrun is a free-to-enter timed 5k run that is open to everyone and designed to be safe and easy to take part in.

In common with parkruns all around the country, the event is delivered entirely by local volunteers, with support from parkrun UK, a national not-for-profit organisation funded by sponsorship and grants.

The parish council originally decided to levy a charge of £1 per runner “to maintain park facilities in the future”, but this was never implemented and the demand later morphed into a requirement to make an (unspecified) financial contribution. It also suggested that parkrun could apply for a grant from a suitable body (such as South Gloucestershire Council) in order to provide a source for this contribution.

Local parkrun representatives said the organisation’s founding principles ruled out any compulsory charge being made on participants and forbade them from handling money, effectively ruling out a grant application.

Following a six month delay to allow a solution to be found, the parish council met on 12th April to make a decision on “the future of parkrun at Little Stoke Park”.

The prospect of the council becoming the first in the country to charge parkrun for use of a park attracted attention from the regional media and generated interest from around the country, fuelled by an online petition that had attracted 9,000 signatures by the time the meeting began.

After councillors decided, by six votes to four, to withdraw permission for the run after 28th May, should parkrun not apply for a grant, it quickly became a national story, attracting condemnation from sporting celebrities including Paula Radcliffe and Kelly Holmes.

The Little Stoke parkrun on the following Saturday was cancelled by the organisers, who feared a mass protest, however, around 25 runners ignored the plea and were greeted by a BBC TV crew which broadcast interviews with them on their Breakfast Show.

More: Reactions on Twitter; media coverage »

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Thousands sign petition to keep local parkrun

Posted on Friday 12th February 2016 at 9:03 pm by SH (Editor)

Little Stoke Parkrun trial event on 22nd August 2012.

More than 7,000 people have signed an online petition to persuade Stoke Gifford Parish Council to allow the hugely popular Little Stoke parkrun to continue at Little Stoke Park after its future was threatened by a council decision to levy a charge of £1 per runner.

One of hundreds of similar events that take place around the country at 9am every Saturday morning, Little Stoke parkrun is a free-to-enter timed 5k run that is open to everyone and designed to be safe and easy to take part in.

Hundreds of participants

The Little Stoke event began in November 2012, with support from South Gloucestershire Council (SGC), and has seen its number of participants grow from fewer than a hundred per week during its first six months to an average of 235 per week in 2015, with some runs attracting in excess of 300.

It is delivered entirely by local volunteers who contribute thousands of hours of their time over the course of a year.

A founding principle of the global parkrun organisation is that events should be inclusive and have no barriers to participation, which local organisers say rules out any compulsory charge being made on participants and any handling of money by parkrun volunteers.

A parish council meeting last October voted to delay the imposition of a charge for six months, to allow time for other revenue raising avenues to be explored, but on 22nd January local parkrun organisers reported in an email to participants that they had been informed that the council had indicated it now planned to make a decision on “whether or not to withdraw permission” for the local adult parkrun at a meeting of Full Council on 9th February.

An online petition was started, which attracted 5,000 signatures in the first 48-hours, and runners were encouraged to write letters to the local media (the Bradley Stoke Journal has so far received 27 emails on the matter, read one here).

Organisers added: “We remain hopeful that the parish council will accept our argument that Little Stoke parkrun imposes little cost and brings substantial benefits to the community, and is deserving of their continued support.”

More: South Gloucestershire Council called in to help with talks »

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