Bolton Wanderers are delighted to unveil a new gym at their Lostock training base – a facility which has been paid for by Bolton Wanderers Development Association Lotteries, an organisation purely supported by the club’s fans and the wider Bolton public.
Using funds raised by the Whites’ lottery schemes such as Lifeline, Goldline, Golden Gamble and Instant Win Scratch Tickets – operated by the Bolton Wanderers Development Association (BWDA) - more than £400,000 has been poured into new training facilities at Lostock.
This includes an all-weather ‘bubble’, due to be installed this week, to enable Phil Parkinson’s side to train indoors during bad weather and is a necessity for the club’s Academy to retain its Category Two status.
The previous gym, also funded by lottery cash at a cost of £100,000, had been built specifically for younger academy players.
Low ceilings however meant that when the first team moved in to Lostock in 2016, taller players in the squad were forced to kneel down and improvise their training routines.
Following the Whites’ promotion back in April meanwhile, manager Parkinson, Matt Barrass (Head Physiotherapist) and Nick Allamby (Head of Sports Science) approached the BWDA for support on the matter and the rest, as they say, is history.
And speaking regarding the matter, Parkinson has praised the club’s fans who continue to pay into lottery schemes to enable such projects to come to fruition.
“It is great that the fans can see their money going to work on something which is going to directly improve the team,” said the manager. “The gym was crucial. It was originally built for the academy but with more people here at the training ground we needed more space and the newly built and custom designed gym has been done to a fantastic standard and looks really great.
“It’s important for the strength and conditioning of the players that they can access the right equipment and do the right training.
“When we moved over to Lostock we looked at the training ground, and agreed it had potential. We have now started to upgrade the facilities thanks to the BWDA.
“I’d like to thank everyone for their support, the Committee who make the decisions on where the money is spent, the staff for their hard work and the people and supporters who put their money in to help them.
“Without support such as this from our fantastic supporters, we would be limited in our scope to develop Lostock and the facilities that we have – in supporting the club’s lotteries and the BWDA, the Bolton public are in turn helping to improve their football team.
“Your support cannot be underestimated and I would encourage anybody who isn’t already involved in the schemes to enrol and play their part in helping to develop and improve their football club.”
The BWDA has also invested in GPS training vests for the players this season, which allows Allamby and his staff to monitor the squad during training and games and adjust training schedules accordingly, with Wanderers having built a reputation for being at the cutting edge of sports science during their recent history.
People have the opportunity to join Goldline for just £1 per week or Lifeline for £2 per week and as well as helping the club, you could win up to £7,500.
Alternatively, there is the option to buy a Golden Gamble ticket on matchdays or a BWFC Instant Win Scratch Card from your local store – every little helps and all monies go towards the funding of projects for Bolton Wanderers Football Club.
The Inception of Lifeline
The original Lifeline scheme was the brainchild of former Bolton Chairman Terry Edge and money raised in those early days at Burnden Park, quite literally, kept the club from ruin.
The great Nat Lofthouse was a proud patron, with his impassioned call for supporters to dig deep and join the lottery during a game against Charlton Athletic in 1982 the stuff of legend.
Nat also travelled up and down the land with former commercial manager Alf Davies speaking to clubs and organisations about how they could launch the same blueprint.
These days, that job falls on the shoulders of Andrew Dean, his hard-working staff and an extremely supportive committee.
Money raised by the BWDA is ring-fenced and cannot be used for wages or overhead expenses but for projects, determined by an elected committee, which directly help the club and its supporters.
And as in 1982, when Nat made his famous appeal, Bolton Wanderers are now asking the supporters and people of Bolton to get behind the lotteries once again.