Barn Elms Athletics Track Refurbishment

by Barn Elms Sports Trust in London, Greater London, United Kingdom

Total raised £11,365

raised so far

+ est. £1487.25 Gift Aid

111

supporters

To relay a very dated 26 year old athletics track with a new surface, and modernise the field facilities in July 2023

by Barn Elms Sports Trust in London, Greater London, United Kingdom

We're still collecting donations

On the 13th July 2023 we'd raised £10,390 with 97 supporters in 69 days. But as every pound matters, we're continuing to collect donations from supporters.

 New stretch target

All donations will go towards the total cost of the project.

Any donation received will free up money for other projects on site, allowing us to upgrade and modernise other facilities to ensure all sports are represented to a good standard on site.


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Who are Barn Elms Sports Trust?

In early 2000s, members of the Barnes community & site user groups came together to fight to preserve sport on the Barn Elms Playing Fields, SW13.  This was in response to plans to significantly reduce the playing fields area and replace with a private members sports centre and associated buildings.

Following a successful community campaign which involved raising over £2.5m from national bodies such as the Football Foundation, London Marathon, Charitable Trust, LTA, ECB, Mayors Fund and from the site's users and local community groups, the plans to replace sport for all with private building were shelved. 

In 2012 the site reopened  with a brand new state-of-the-art pavilion, and renewed football, rugby, cricket and tennis facilities, all protected by a 199 year Deed of Dedication ensuring that the site would be protected for sport for future generations.

Barn Elms Sports Trust (BEST) was created in 2012 out of these community and user groups to manage the site on behalf of the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames (LBRuT).

As a registered charity, not for profit, BEST is headed by a team of volunteers from the local community who act as Trustees and work in partnership with LBRuT to ensure Barn Elms Playing Fields offer an unrivalled user experience for all sports enthusiasts. The site is managed on a day-to-day basis by a General Manager and a dedicated team of staff. Any surplus funds generated from the site are channelled back into improving and expanding the sports and facilities offered.

Amongst many accolades, BEST has won won the Best Open Space in the UK (Fields in Trust), and the site is often showcased to show how a site can be run successfully by the local community in partnership with the Council. BEST has often offered support and guidance to many other communities nationwide looking to replicate our success.

For more info - https://www.bestfields.co.uk/ourstory/

Our mission is simple: to make sport accessible for all!

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Why are we crowdfunding?

Commencing in July 2023, we plan to replace an unsafe and outdated athletics track with a new surface and renovate surrounding facilities, at a cost of £450,000. 

The lack of floodlights (opposed by neighbouring SSSI sites and residents) means that we are not eligible for any Sport England or Athletics major grants, and many other sources like Waste Management Grants are focusing on Rising Costs of Living and rejected sport projects.

We are the only track in the east of Richmond, and host over 25 school sports days, 10 annual track competitions, plus a number of running groups, fitness classes, personal training and individual runners. So a new track is more than justified!

Below are just a few of our users in action:

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History of the Site and Current Status   

The current running track was built over 25 years ago and is well past its recommended useful life of 20 years.

Recent surveys warn that the current track is now in a critical condition in terms of compaction, drainage and safety, and failure to replace it will result in the loss of the facility in full within the next few years.

The foundations are damaged, and uneven, with collapsed drainage systems leading to pooling of water on wet days.  

The surface is cracked and coming away from the foundations.  

The shot putt circle, high jump pits and other field facilities are not fit for purpose.

Examples of the issues are shown below:

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How we’ll spend the money raised

To date, BEST has undertaken £50k worth of studies from its own reserves to cover ecological, studies, feasibility surveys, and pre-planning applications.

The total project cost will come to £450k and BEST has committed further of its reserves and sinking fund to cover funds not raised from external sources. 

BEST is looking to raise £25k from users and the local community to access ‘matched funding’ grants available. 

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The project will be broken down into the below stages:

- Project Management - Experts in their Field

BEST has appointed Labosport as the Project Managers.  To date they have guided us through project early stages and tendering process, and will quality assess throughout the project's install to ensure the best possible track is installed.

- Track Surface

BEST decided to replace the specialist sprint track (Mondo) with a track more suited to the general public (Polytan).  This surface is softer, longer lasting and we believe will benefit more users in the long run.

- Field Facilities

BEST will renovate the 2 jump pits, making them safer, and restoring them aesthetically and practically to return them to their full glory.

We will replace the shot putt circle with a new fit for purpose option, complete with toe guard.

We will replace the high jump D, providing a new take off area, complete with improved drainage and surface to compiment the already replaced jump equipment and storage area.

We will upgrade the 2 x javellin runways with new surfacing and markings.

We will restore the steeple chase area with new jump station, improved drainage and a cover to the landing pit to make safe. 

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Community Involvement 

Since our opening in 2013, there's been a steady increase in use of the facilities, despite limitations such as Covid, the closure of Hammersmith Bridge, and a lack of floodlighting limiting winter use.  

We average 100,000 track users a year.

This usage comes not only from the local community, but from schools, groups, elite athletes, and individuals just wanting to stay fit.

Without the track, many schools will not be able to find a local alternative owing to a high demand of other facilities.  Many clubs will lose their home grounds, and many individuals their training facilities.  From juniors to adults, we house around 15 running groups, 8 junior groups, 2 wheelchair organisations, 2 disability groups, 2 aged fitness groups, 30 schools, and many individuals from all over London.

Who has shown support so far?

LBRuT have agreed to put £100k towards the project, realising the track’s importance to the local community.

Local running groups - Barnes Runners and Ful on Tri - have agreed to host adult charity events to raise money for the site in June 2023, and Optima Tri will host a junior charity event in July 2023.

Many users have volunteered to ‘pay to park’ at the site (usually free!) on several weekends, and we have hosted some inter club competitions, and a 1000 lap challenge. These initiatives have already raised several thousand pounds

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What some of our users have said:

1686593639_1686593639379.png"The Barn Elms track is a much-loved community facility but, like my running, it's seen better days. A new surface will help put a spring back in the step of local runners and deliver a safe track that works for all, fast and slow, young and old, throughout the year."  -  David Cornock, Barnes Runners Founder Member & Radio Reporter


1686319954_1686319952788.png"The Barn Elms track has for years been my favourite place to train, it's a magical space away from the roads and traffic where you can lose yourself in training. But it's certainly in need of some TLC and a new surface will make a wonderful space even more special"  -  Kate Carter, Runners World Editor, and Panda Enthusiast

1686320291_1686320289035.pngI love the track at Barn Elms, people come from far and wide to use it… it’s helped many Barnes Runners achieve our running goals - and the kids we coach on Sundays get at least as much out of it too. It does need a bit of a makeover to give us all a boost.  Also, I’m very sorry I once overcooked training and vomited in lane 2. I promise to treat the new track with more care!! - Vassos Alexander, presenter, author and endurance runner (Barnes Runners)

"I cannot emphasise enough how welcome a new track would be given the brilliant location. Many parents simply can't their children to the bigger clubs after school.  The track is used by clubs, professionals and children. It is a great pleasure to see so many children benefiting from the facilities. I use the track daily and see at least 50 kids on the track every day during the summer. Also hosting the countless Sport days being held by local state schools who do not have the facilities the private schools enjoy."  Louise Klostergaard Jensen - Former Danish Champion 400m indoors.

1685100512_weir.jpg The track facility at Barnes has been incredibly valuable to our team of wheelchair athletes and the staff have been equally supportive and helpful. We fully support this appeal.  WeirArcher Academy.

How our project will be United by Birmingham 2022

The Commonwealth Games in Birmingham 2022 inspired people to try athletics, maybe for the first time ever, or maybe since being in school.  We want to make athletics as accessible as possible for these people.

As a group that represents, and is represented by, the local community, we offer subsidised usage costs, such as elite athlete free use, U18s/over 60s/disabled discounted prices, and host many different types of groups, from sprint, to running, to general athletics, to triathlon and fitness / sport specific training.  We believe that the more opportunities to try something, the more chance of something sticking!

We also host a number of high level athletes.  These have represented a number of countries at Tokyo and the more recent events, and cover members of the England hockey, lacrosse, rugby, triathlon, track teams.  


How you can play your part

There are four simple ways to help us reach our target, and make this project a reality.

1. Make a pledge. Don’t delay if you’re going to support us because momentum is key to our success!

2. Spread the word. Share our project on your social media pages and tell the world to get behind us! The more people we reach, the more support we will get.

3. Offer rewards. Get involved if you are a local business by donating things we can offer to our supporters. We will give you a shout out!

4. Fundraise for us. If you want to run your own fundraiser – maybe a sponsored activity or similar – use the 'contact project' button at the top of our page to let us know. Setting up your own page only takes a few minutes and you won’t need any bank details. Just a fun idea!

Rewards

This project offered rewards

£10 or more

Run Forrest

A pass to use the new track once completed (normally £4)

£5 or more

£5 Community Pledge

Pledge £5 and receive entries to the community draw. Please send contact details to [email protected]

£10 or more

£10 Community Pledge

Pledge £10 to 10 entries into our December 2023 draw

£20 or more

£20 Community Pledge

Pledge £20 for 20 entries to the community draw in our December 2023 draw

£10 or more

Tennis or Cricket Nets (RRP £12)

Pledge £10 and we will give you an hour on either the tennis courts or cricket nets at Barn Elms Sports Trust (RRP £12) Available from 15 July to end of August 2023.

£20 or more

1 month Puregym Putney

Pledge £20, and receive one month membership at Puregym Putney - (www.puregym.com) RRP £18.89

£30 or more

Alma Cafe - £10 voucher

Pledge £30 and get a £10 voucher for Alma Cafe, Barnes (must be used by end of August 2023) Donated by Alma Cafe - https://almacafe.co.uk/

£35 or more

Skills Coach - 1 day junior camp (RRP £45)

Pledge £35 and get 1 day at Skills Coach junior multisports camps (https://skills-coach.com) (single days RRP £45) Valid until end of December 2023, subject to availability

£45 or more

Tennis Ball Machine Hire (RRP £60)

If you pledge £45, you will receive 1 hour ball machine hire at BEST. The price includes the use of the ball machine, balls, raquets and court hire fees. Provided by Tennis 4 Barnes (www.tennis4barnes.co.uk)

£50 or more

Free PT Session

Make a contribution and receive a free, on site personal training session in our outdoor gym. Usually this would be the price of the PT session alone!

£50 or more

Tossed - £25 voucher

Pledge £50 and receive a £25 voucher in return (must be redeemed by 31 Dec 2023, available at any Tossed store in the UK).

£50 or more

London Marathon 2023 Vest and Shorts (RRP £80)

Pledge £50 and receive a brand new London Marathon 2023 shorts and runners vest (male medium) (RRP £80) Collect from SW139SA

£50 or more

Puregym 60 minute Personal Training (RRP £70)

Pledge £50 and receive a 1 hour Personal Training session at Puregym Putney.

£50 or more

London Marathon 2023 Kit

A pledge of £50 will secure a London Marahton Vest and Shorts (new) donated by West 4 Harriers. Collection from site

£100 or more

Party at BEST (RRP £125)

Pledge £100 and you can have a 3 hour party at BEST before 31 March 2024).

£500 or more

Lifetime Runners Pass

Pledge £500 and receive a lifetime use of the track. Usually £120 per annum. Please note this will be subject to restrictions such as opening hours and private hours.

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