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    Post by MIKE1957 on Sat Mar 13, 2010 6:34 pm

    A GRANT from the Big Lottery Fund's Awards For All has made possible an exciting sporting development, which aims to get more youngsters involved in an activity dating back to ancient times.
    Concerned by the very real possibility of the demise of pigeon racing, long-time enthusiast Jim Bruce, of Arbroath, set about developing a means of introducing more people to the sport.

    On March, 5, 2009, the Constitution of the Angus Community On
    ADVERTISEMENTe-loft Race Development (ACORD) was signed.

    Less than one year on, and with "money in the bank" as Mr Bruce puts it, his dream of developing a one-loft system to house racing pigeons is almost realised.

    Thanks to the dedication and enthusiasm of Mr Bruce and a team of supportive individuals, ACORD has been granted £10,000 to further its aims of "encouraging (the] involvement" of the Angus community in pigeon racing.

    Thrilled by the opportunity to create a purpose-built loft in the grounds of Angus College, Mr Bruce has already ordered a loft from a specialist firm in Kidderminster. The new wood and tiled structure will measure 24" by 8" and is being built to his own design. It features an in-built viewing area and passage way.

    The grant from the Lottery Fund is crucial to the progression of ACORD, as Mr Bruce's existing loft is unsuitable for teaching.

    Its replacement is due to arrive in four to six weeks; an exciting prospect for the students at Angus College who are already busy digging out and creating a base for the unit.

    Students will also erect the ramp necessary to ensure full disabled access: 'anyone residing in the County of Angus' is to be able to access and enjoy the new facility.

    Already students at Angus College have benefited from the opportunities created by the Lottery funding of the project and even more are set to reap the rewards in the long-run, initially those students studying animal care.

    Mr Bruce is quick to allay fears over the possibility of competing for participation with local pigeon racing clubs, the Arbroath Racing Pigeon Club and the Inchcape Pigeon Club.

    He said: "The One-loft Race Development aims to introduce youngsters or anyone who is interested in taking up a new hobby, to the birds and the sport. There are only two pigeon racing clubs in Arbroath and we don't set out to detract from them, instead we want to raise the profile of pigeon racing.

    "People who are interested in the sport after becoming involved with ACORD will hopefully then join a pigeon club if they wish to race.

    "I want to encourage people to come down and have a look. Ideally a school class could 'adopt' one or two birds.

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