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A new home for Cornish table tennis after £118,000 grant

By WBCraig  |  Posted: March 07, 2014

Inside the sports hall is L-R Dracaena Centre Manager Richard May, Falmouth Docks Table Tennis Club Treasurer Ian McLeod and Dracaena Centre Sports Development Officer Brad Bodinnar.

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ONE of Falmouth’s oldest sports clubs will soon have a new home after receiving more than £100,000 in grant funding.

The 65-year-old Falmouth Docks Table Tennis Club teamed up with the Dracaena Centre for the grant bid.

The £118,000 funding from the English Table Tennis Association (ETTA) will be used to upgrade the centre’s sports hall and add an extension.

The Dracaena Centre has started work on phase one of the project, to install new heating and lighting systems in the existing sports hall, plus new insulation and flooring.

Phase two will see a 160-square-metre extension added to the side of the sports hall, about half the size of the existing hall, which will be built on the existing overflow car park.

The extension will have a kitchen, office and storage space, plus a new studio with a sprung floor.

It will also have glass walls to allow people to watch table tennis tournaments in the main hall.

Club treasurer Ian McLeod said the joint application between Cornwall’s largest table tennis club and the five-year-old Dracaena centre showed “added value” to the community.

“We have more than 100 members and 15 teams, making up 45 per cent of the table tennis in Cornwall,” he said.

“This will allow us to give even more people the opportunity to get involved in sport.”

He added thanks to the Cornwall Sports Partnership, which had helped its members set up satellite clubs in local venues such as school halls, as well as the ETTA for supporting the Falmouth community.

Dracaena Centre manager Richard May said the project was “massively important” to the community as it will offer a new facilities for sports and leisure clubs.

“For me this fits in really naturally with want to do here in regards to sports and leisure education. It links into our current ethos of health and wellbeing.

“It also shows that there is a confidence in the Dracaena Centre for the funders.

“The club has a home, and it gives them even more credibility, but it also opens up other opportunities. This is massively important to the community.”

Work is expected to be finished in early summer. Until then, the club’s 100 members will continue to use other venues, such as Penryn College.

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