BUCKINGHAM Athletic have spent the past six years putting together the foundations for a community sports and social club which they now hope local people will take advantage of.
It has taken a huge amount of time and money to develop Stratford Fields with committee member Tony Checkley, who helped co-ordinate the project, saying: “We had to make some serious decisions – the clubhouse was crumbling around us and the playing facilities were not meeting the required standards that the FA stipulates for our level of football.
“Of course it has been really hard work – the members themselves have raised huge amounts of money to help pay for the developments, but we owe huge thanks to so many organisations who believe in what we are trying to achieve – Leader Group, Football Foundation, AVDC funding, Community Chest, Buckingham & Gawcott Charitable Trust, Buckingham Town Council, WREN, BIFFA – without them we would not have got to this stage. The facility sits in the heartland of Buckingham and has so much development potential both on and off the pitch.
“Our membership has steadily grown to around 300, people are booking the hall for private functions and we now have a number of local organisations using the facility during the day.
“Most people in the area will know of us because of the football setup, but we are more than that with Super League Darts, dominoes and regular social events.
“However, we are a small committee and to take it to the next stage we require help in the form of people – new ideas and thoughts for both the football, social and community.”
Having focussed on the infrastructure for the past six years, the club are taking a breather and are now focusing on what is happening on the pitch.
Checkley added: “We have a great football setup with two senior teams, youth and ladies teams.
“We have a great link with Moretonville and this allows us to have a great flow of local players through the club. We just need to stop and review, the clubhouse could be extended further by utilising the space where the old dressing rooms stood and certainly pitch side has enormous potential to become more enclosed in the future.”
Buckingham Athletic are already working hard with local charities, schools and other groups, but they are now appealing to the community and existing members as they continue to make plans to produce an established South Midlands Football League club, as well as a community club.
“Of course all clubs are looking for more people to help on the committee and we are no different as at the moment we looking for somebody to help with the club’s secretary role – but it is not just committee people we are after.
“We are looking for help in all sorts of other ways, even if it’s just making the teas on match days.
“If anybody is interested in getting involved with the club in any sort of way please contact us or better still pop down and see us.”