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Founded 2011

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Hethersett and Meltons Sports Association 

It has been in my mind to start a sports association in Hethersett for some time and when I was appointed to the post of sports co-ordinator for Active Norfolk I realised that this could act as a catalyst for launching such a body. 

I was contacted by a number of organisations in Little and Great Melton and it seemed sensible and logical to incorporate those villages as well – Hence the launch of the Hethersett and The Meltons Sports Association (HaMSA). 

The idea behind HaMSA is for the various sports in the area to work together for the mutual benefit of all. This may seem a difficult task as there will be a huge diversity of interests involved but I am hoping to harness the energy of everyone for the benefit of all. At the same time I am hoping the setting up of the association will lead to more people taking up exercise and sport and joining established clubs – particularly where membership has dropped to low levels. 

Fitness of course doesn’t depend on being a top sportsman or woman. I believe the association can play a large part in encouraging people to ditch their cars and walk more around the villages and of course this could be helped by the current economic climate and cost of petrol. 

The Association dovetails in well with a number of existing groups in the villages such as the Hethersett Olympic Committee which will leave a sporting and fitness legacy long beyond the London 2012 games and the Hethersett Environmental Action Team (HEAT) which is always looking to improve the local environment and I am sure will fully support any fitness ideas we put forward. 

I am very pleased to say that the response to the idea of a sports association has exceeded my expectations. To date every single club and organisation contacted has agreed to send a representative and the idea behind our inaugural meeting will be to bounce ideas around and allow the association to take its own shape. 

To that end we have also received support from parish councils and our two district councillors and a variety of other groups. I am keen that all sports groups/clubs are included in the association along with practitioners and professionals working within the sports and fitness fields. 

In order to prompt some discussion I have put together some ideas below which we can look at on the night and see how they can be taken forward. 

To my mind the aims of the association should incorporate the following: 

To promote sport and fitness in Hethersett and The Meltons
To bring greater awareness of sporting and leisure facilities and achievements
To assess existing clubs and facilities
To draw up a list of clubs, facilities and contacts
To encourage local people to join clubs and take regular exercise
To oversee an entry into the South Norfolk games
To consider available grants to further enhance the standing of the association.

We can achieve some or all of the above by 

Producing a sporting directory (possibly on the internet) – including featuring clubs looking for additional members
Meeting three or four times a year to discuss matters of mutual benefit
Ensuring that we all work together for the common good of sport and fitness.
Lobbying for improved facilities where needed
Working together with local organisations and charities to enhance the standing and awareness of the benefits of sport and exercise.

There are a number of questions and matters about the association that need to be answered such as: 

Its constitution – do we need a chair, secretary, treasurer etc?
Will any finance be involved?
How do we sustain the association in the light of an extremely diverse membership?
What are the association’s aims and goals and how will we achieve these?

Hopefully the above paper will give some ideas for discussion at our first meeting.

 

Peter Steward (Active Norfolk Sports Co-ordinator for Hethersett) – January 2011