OKEHAMPTON Squash and Racketball Club and Hatherleigh Town Council are two of 45 grassroots sports projects in the South West to share in £2.4-million of National Lottery funding as part of the London Olympics legacy.

Okehampton Squash and Racketball Club will receive £50,000 of funding to upgrade the facilities of the club building, which has helped hundreds of people play squash for more than 30 years. The improvements include insulating external walls and the ceiling, and replacing the hot water boiler.

Club chairman Dennis Edwards said: 'We are delighted to have secured this investment.

'It means we can upgrade the quality of our premises to ensure the long term existence of our club, providing both squash and racketball playing facilities in Okehampton and the surrounding areas.

'We believe the improved conditions will help greatly to attract new playing members. It is the cornerstone of our strategy to have an outstanding club for the 2012 Olympics legacy.'

Hatherleigh Town Council has also been awarded £50,000, to provide a concrete skate area in a free form design in Island Park.

Cllr Gary Bush said: 'At the moment we are at the stage of having some companies come in, look at the area of land we have got, and trying to see what would fit into that area for the money we will have.

'There are just a couple of queries on the conditions before we can go ahead, but as a council we are very pleased, this is a good amount of money to receive. There has been reasonable demand for a skate park here in Hatherleigh. I know that the people involved in this have put a lot of time and effort into everything.'

Following their grant, Okehampton Squash and Racketball Club is encouraging new members to take up these two sports. All equipment will be supplied and free sessions are provided for prospective members. There is a club night on Wednesdays from 7pm to 9pm, and a new Tuesday club for racketball from 7pm to 9pm.

To find out more about racketball call 01566 784662 or 07825 701902. For more about the club call Sue Stanbury on 01837 52104 or 07886 843786. For a membership form call into Donald's Menswear on Fore Street, Okehampton.

The grants came from Sport England's Inspired Facilities fund, part of the Places People Play Olympic and Paralympic legacy programme.

There is still time for sports clubs or organisations to apply for funding from Inspired Facilities. Bids for the next round will be accepted from March 4 to April 29. Full details are online at http://www.sportengland.org/inspired">www.sportengland.org/inspired