A SPORTS association has changed its name as it looks to recover from the financial effects of the Covid pandemic.

The association of clubs based just off the A684 in Bedale will now be known as Bedale Sports Club and Community Centre in an effort to broaden its influence in the area.

Plans have been passed for an extension to the main hall which would almost double its size, and work is hoped to start before the end of the year. Grant applications have been submitted and a major fundraising campaign will be launched shortly.

The new hall will enable the association to hold an increased range of activities and it should be able to promote itself as a modest-sized wedding venue for 100 guests. There will be a wedding fayre at the club on Sunday October 17 between 11am and 2pm.

To celebrate the reopening after lockdown there will be a Pizza and Prosecco evening on Friday, August 6 with entertainment from singer and guitarist Freddie Cleary, and the ever-popular inter-club quizzes will recommence on Friday, August 27 at 7pm followed by Friday, October 1, Friday, October 29 and in 2022, Friday, January 14 and Friday, February 11.

A spokesperson for sports club said it is slowly recovering from the pandemic, and added: “It has been a traumatic time and were it not for the support from Hambleton District Council in offering rates holidays and Covid grants, the association could have folded. Likewise, the support from the national governing bodies of the constituent clubs has been such, that they have all managed to keep going.

“Bedale AFC is looking forward to the new season in the North Riding League and Heck Harrogate League and have benefited from a Football Foundation grant and the Making A Difference grant from Hambleton District Council to purchase replacement goalposts and additional perimeter fencing. Their new kit, sponsored by Heck Foods is due to be launched before the end of July and it is sure to cause intense media interest once again.

“Bedale Cricket Club has recommenced junior All Stars cricket coaching on Friday evenings with hundreds of boys and girls attending and the ladies softball team is flourishing.

“Bedale Squash and Racketball Club have taken advantage of the lockdown to refurbish all the courts and to introduce a new electronic booking and court management system. Junior coaching has restarted on Friday evenings.

“The Bedale and Dales Croquet Club have now completed their new pavilion with funding from the Jack Brunton Trust which will be officially opened in due course.

“Bedale Tennis Club after renewing their courts and installing floodlights just before lockdown, are now back up and running with Jonathan Saddler, an LTA level four accredited coach with 20 years’ experience, running all-year round outdoor floodlit and indoor mini-tennis coaching.

“The Bedale and Aiskew Runners now meet every Wednesday at 6.15pm for training at the sports club and are now entering athletes in events all around the country. They have also established a walking group for those who are struggle to run but who want to remain active.”

For further details about any of the sports clubs, find them on social media or contact Martyn Coombs at martync55@gmail.com or 07885 228097.