‘Make our dreams come true’ is the plea from a sports club asking Basingstoke to get behind them in a bid to win £200,000.
The volunteer-run Basingstoke and Mid Hants Athletics Club has made it through to the final of a national competition and has just under 30 days to get the votes it needs to win the cash.
The funds will be used to improve the facilities at Down Grange Sports Complex, including building spectator seating, indoor facilities, changing rooms and trackside toilets.
But the club needs the public’s backing and their votes to succeed.
In a video appeal posted online, a young member of the club says: “We have a lovely track and some great coaches but what we don’t have are trackside facilities and somewhere to sit and watch in comfort.
“We have a wooden cabin and a fibreglass kiosk. They have served us well but we dream of something better.
“It’s not only our members who will benefit, local schools will benefit, and young athletes from nearby clubs and surrounding counties who come to the town to compete will benefit and we will be able to host bigger and better events.
“No more standing in the rain, no more sitting on the grass bank, no more slipping in the mud, no more getting changed in the wet. Please make our dreams come true.”
The club is up against 29 other sporting contenders for the national prize, which is available through a scheme run by Persimmon Homes.
BHMAC has raised more than £90,000 but the additional funding from the award will help build the shell of the stand.
Committee member Sue Scouler-Davison said athletes and their families worked hard to raise the funds, completing several physical challenges to help spread the word over the years.
She said: “It would mean a lot to the families, the athletes and to the whole community.
“I don’t know if people appreciate how much hard work goes into athletics. You have got to train about four or five times a week in any weather conditions.
“But with the new facilities, we can improve that experience and even help avoid injuries by ensuring the athletes stay warmed up.”
Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council has already approved planning permission for a new spectator stand as well as changing facilities at Down Grange.
The winner of the funding will be announced on March 22.
To vote before March 16, visit persimmonhomes.com/healthy-communities/finalists