FA launch Survive, Revive and Thrive campaign which highlights, again, the importance of Sport and our own return to the Camrose.
As many of you will know; our community club has created a ‘Save the Camrose’ committee of which the primary objective is to demonstrate the community club’s ability to operate its own site and outline why the Camrose is the ideal place and rightful home for football in the community. The committee is currently working on a detailed plan which is near completion which will be presented to Basingstoke councillors.
It’s clear, even to the untrained eye, that the borough of Basingstoke and Deane is demonstrably short of football facilities and also community-based facilities. This is evident in the research conducted by the community club but also by FA research which suggests a shortfall in the borough of four artificial grass pitches as well as research the club has conducted with local schools, businesses and community groups for artificial pitch space but also indoor based facilities.
The club has been inundated with evidence from local grassroots football clubs who struggle to access facilities in the town especially at affordable prices.
This comes at an opportune time with the Camrose site remaining derelict, subject to planning appeal and the FA’s launch of a new four-year strategy last week with investment into facilities at the heart of its objectives.
The strategy, based upon the concept of Survive, Revive and Thrive – will lay out the FA’s vision for the game post-Covid. Included in £180m of funding is money for pitches, alongside commitments to help clubs with fees and funding for football in deprived communities.
“I’m convinced that football has a massive role to play in bringing the nation back to its feet by bringing communities together and improving physical and mental health,” said the FA’s director of football development, James Kendall. “Our priority is going to be to help the clubs and the volunteers who run them to survive.”
Another four-year target set out by the FA will be to enable girls to have equal access to the sport which coincides with our own plans within the borough.
With a town the size of Basingstoke – its community deserves better facilities, and we believe we are best placed to deliver this on behalf of the borough.
Basingstoke and Deane Labour Group Leader Cllr Andrew McCormick has already shown his support with his recent note and donation to our Save the Camrose fund (https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/SaveTheCamrose)
‘I support 100% everyone involved in Basingstoke Town Community FC and their move back to the Camrose / ambitions to play in higher leagues with a Cat C or Cat B football ground’
The Basingstoke Labour party candidates for the Norden ward have also recently said “It is shameful that this beloved community asset was sold in the first place. If elected, we will work hard to ensure a return to the site.”
For Basingstoke residents, with local elections on May 6th 2021 in mind, we once again call on you to write to your local councillor(s) for their views on the Save the Camrose Campaign and its plans to bring the club back home.
The club will be seeking responses from Councillors individually ourselves but the more people who ask, the more support we can show for the campaign. Prime-minister Boris Johnson recently expressed the importance of Sport and the role it can play within communities so now it’s time for political leaders and (most importantly for us) local councillors to turn those words into action. This is their opportunity to create a legacy and showcase Basingstoke as the beacon for sport – more than within this town’s capabilities IF supported correctly.
You can find your local councillors and their respective addresses/email addresses on the basingstoke.gov.uk website.
You will have seen recent videos across our social media channels which have been shared by local press about the impact of The Camrose on people’s lives – the likes of long-term fan Micky Stevens, junior starlet Lily-Ann and Academy student Lloyd Snell have already documented the importance of the site and the opportunity it has provided them, with others in the pipeline.
We believe the Camrose site can not only be renewed to what it once was, but improved upon all recognition – from a facilities, provision and community hub and of course our already proven ability to immerse ourselves into the community and make the club a real place for good.
A campaign surrounding the wider impact of setting precedent for sports facilities across the UK will be launched in the coming weeks. Too many clubs have suffered this same fate; and simply put – it has to stop.
A five pronged approach as well as continuing purposeful conversation with Councillors and community representatives will be the driving force behind the rightful return to our former protected home.
To fight to regain our land and redevelop The Camrose to become a sports hub as a home for the football club and to benefit of the borough of Basingstoke as a whole.
To raise vital funding to ensure the club are in the best position to return to its home.
To develop healthy working partnerships with Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, Sport England, Football Foundation, the FA, local clubs and the community to bring The Camrose back to life. As well as local Schools, grassroots teams and the community to ensure provision for the community in which we serve.
To actively speak up and object to any appeal or further plans to redevelop the land while it is still owned by the former Chairman Rafi Razzak.
To achieve stronger protection and regulation to ensure other sports clubs do not suffer the same plight. It needs to be stopped once and for all.