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Sports Development Group (Sports Council)

The Sports Development Group were set up by the Town Council for all sports clubs to come together and share good ideas, best practice and how sports can be developed across the town. East Grinstead is fortunate in that it has a plethora of top quality varied sporting clubs. All clubs and groups are invited to attend the meeting (and if you are new or have not come across the group before,  just come along and make yourself known, you are welcome to attend).

The group meet quarterly to receive an update on what is going on in groups, opportunities for grants, advice and how to access this.  The meeting is currently chaired by a Town Councillor however this is a meeting facilitated by the Town Council and is there for the clubs and groups to get something out of this and voice any concerns or needs.  The Town and District Council both send officers who can help signpost to bodies who may be able to help resolve a problem.  Sometimes the groups can help each other out.   This is networking, advice, help and camaraderie,  but so much more.


Sports Development Group

Message from Bob Shelley (Chair of EG Sports Council)

Who would have believed, only a few short weeks ago, that we would find ourselves in a global pandemic, with a necessary cessation of all organised sporting activity. Nevertheless, I am sure you will all be taking advice from both local and national bodies to do the right thing for your members, whether they be participants, administrators or volunteers, during the COVID-19 lockdown. Against this backdrop I thought it would be useful to keep in touch and update you about a few local sports items that might interest you.

1. COVID-19 Impact on Sport – VIDEO CONFERENCE

With the lockdown curtailing sports activities I am sure many of you will have issues at your clubs with surviving the current situation and then where you will be once we are through into the next phases. For this reason, whilst a conventional meeting is not possible, I have set up a video conference with some local representatives on hand to give advice on some of the issues. This will take place on Tuesday 19 May at 7.30pm. I will send you a link by email the day before for you to click on to join the conference, which will use Skype Meet Up. You do not need anything preloaded on the device you will be using, just internet access. Could you please let me know if you will be able to participate so I know who to expect to join.


  1. Introduction and news – myself
  2. An update from each of the club representatives about their Club’s position in lockdown.
  3. Some views from our panel with their perspectives
    • Rex Whittaker – District Council view
    • Steve Ody – Town Council View
    • Richard Leman – National view
    • Elaine Clark – MSDC Leisure Perspective – with other Leisure Team members online
    • Steve Hill – Schools
    • Anthony Statham – Mid Sussex Active
  4. Q & A with panel.
  5. Any other business and close.

Playing Pitches

We have seen in recent years, as our local Councils bring forward their plans in conjunction with developers to meet their obligations for housing development, that there will increasingly be opportunities for leisure and sports improvements by utilising the infrastructure levies imposed on such schemes.

You will also recall, in particular our outdoor sports clubs, the work that was undertaken in the last year or so in the form of the Playing Pitch Study to update Mid Sussex District Council’s evidence base for their Playing Pitch Strategy. This Study assessed the current demand and the future development needs, priorities and options for football, tennis, hockey, bowls, rugby, cricket and athletics. The Council are now considering their Action Plan and Delivery, together with the associated financial implications.

It was our intention, had the April Sports Council meeting taken place, to put some of this information before you for discussion. Since this was not possible I have provided a link to a Council document below.

Document – The MSDC Scrutiny Committee considered the Playing Pitch Study on 18 March 2020. It is a very long document but, after the minutes of the meeting you will find, headed “Agenda Item 6”, the Playing Pitch Study Report to the Committee, followed by the Consultant’s Final Study.

Our next meeting

Following the cancellation of our meeting on 2nd April I shall be keeping a watching brief on when it will be safe and appropriate for us to get together again. Our next scheduled meeting would be on Thursday 25 June at East Grinstead Town Football Club. This must currently be in jeopardy, given the current view on when social distancing imperatives are likely to be lifted. I will let you know in due course when our next meeting can take place.

Finally, I can only wish you all well as you and your families find a way through current situation and beyond.

See you when next we can get together and in the meantime, stay safe.


The groups that currently attend the meeting and a contact for each is shown below: