Armchair Club Sports Foundation
The Armchair Club – a group of 11 local businessmen and women, set up the Armchair Club Sports Foundation Trust which has charitable status and supports our efforts to increase funding for amateur sport in the area.
The club backs individuals and groups – particularly young people – and has paid out over £300,000 since 1982, mainly raised at five events each year – a Question Of Sport evening in March, a golf day in July, the annual Swimathon, a sporting dinner in October and Mansfield’s annual Sports Recognition Awards event in December.
The Armchair Club applied for and received Charitable status with the formation of the ARMCHAIR CLUB SPORTS FOUNDATION in 2015. The Foundation is administered by three Trustees appointed by the Armchair Club. The Charitable objects of the Foundation are:
1. To advance for the benefit of the public the advancement of amateur sport in Mansfield and the surrounding environs in north Nottinghamshire, predominantly the depleted coalfield areas and villages in the north of the county of Nottinghamshire, by supporting the promotion of community participation and healthy recreation and with a view of furthering that object, to provide funding and assist in the provision of facilities, equipment and support that will enable and encourage the development of amateur sport and encourage young people to participate in physical recreation and sport.
2. In the interest of social welfare, to organise or provide funds for sporting opportunity and physical recreation in Mansfield and the north Nottinghamshire area for sports clubs, sporting organisations, and young persons who, by reason of their social or economic circumstances, have need for such funds, facilities or equipment in furthering the advancement of amateur sport. The provision of funding to the said sports clubs, sporting organisations and individuals will be considered on the basis of the circumstances outlined above regardless of gender, race, colour or sexual orientation. Additionally, funding will be provided for clubs, organisations and individuals catering for and supporting all levels of ability within amateur sport and physical recreation.
3. Activities in furtherance of the above will include, in particular but not exclusively, making financial grants, at the sole discretion of the trustees acting by an unanimous decision, to other organisations (irrespective of whether or not they are a charity) that support the advancement of amateur sport and that have demonstrated similar or complementary aims to those established in paragraphs 1 and 2 above.
Among its hundreds of beneficiaries have been double Olympic Games gold medal swimmer Rebecca Adlington, top international golfer Oliver Wilson, county cricketer Paul Franks, Olympic badminton star Chris Adcock, Commonwealth Games runner Stephen Lisgo, world sidecar champions Ben and Tom Birchall and Paralympic swimmers Charlotte Henshaw and Sam and Ollie Hynd, who were all supported long before they became famous for their achievements. The club has also backed many sporting clubs and organisations.
It is hoped that the foundation’s charitable status will boost funds further. The foundation is encouraging people undertaking charity fundraising events and being sponsored through websites like JustGiving to make the foundation their nominated cause. Having charitable status will also mean that people wanting to make bequests or to make donations can do so to the foundation. Money raised would then be passed on to sportspeople and groups in the area through the Armchair Club Sports Foundation Trust.
A spokesman said: “Many people take part in a variety of sporting challenges every year to raise thousands of pounds for charities and good causes. A lot of this is done through online support and we hope that the foundation, which has charitable status, will attract support from people running the likes of marathons and half-marathons, for example. Also, people often want to donate to a charity. The Armchair Club Sports Foundation Trust makes it possible for them to donate to a charity and support local sport.”
The Foundation aims to back community involvement in amateur sport through funding and assisting in the provision of facilities, equipment and support that will encourage the development of sport and encourage young people to participate. It will also continue the club’s ethos from its beginning in 1982 – to see sport grow and flourish in the Mansfield & Ashfield areas and to enable people of all ages and ability to take part and enjoy life through sport.
While the Foundation will make it possible for people wanting to donate to a registered charity to back local sport, the Armchair Club itself will continue its regular fundraising work.
Some of the beneficiaries have gone on to world fame and success, such as double Olympic gold medal winning swimmer Rebecca Adlington who starred in the 2008 games in Beijing and London in 2012. In 2004, 800 metre runner Ricky Soos reached the Olympic Games semi-finals four years after being backed by the club. Others who have reached national success include: Chris Adcock (badminton), Birchall Brothers Ben and Tom (sidecar racing), Paul Franks (cricket), Charlotte Henshaw (swimming), Sam and Olly Hynd (swimming), Stephen Lisgo (athletics), Mike Newell (cricket), Oliver Wilson (golf), Elliot Clogg (swimming)
A list of all those who have benefited since 1994 can be viewed here