The Winchester Sport Art and Leisure Trust (Winchester SALT) has a simple aim – to provide and enhance community sport, art and leisure for the people of Winchester. All our projects are designed to fulfill this aim.
We place particular emphasis on:
- Helping local people and institutions connect and collaborate
- Fostering understanding between cultures and across generations
- Making our community more resilient
Our ongoing projects include:
- the annual Children of Winchester Festival (COWfest) held each February half-term
- the Winchester Fit for the Future project, which focuses on improving the city's community sport and recreational facilities, with associated fundraising under the banner "SOS Save Our Sports" contributing to our Community Sports Facilities Fund
- the Winchester Community Sport Alliance, a network of local organisations involved in community sport, and the associated Winchester ClubHub that helps them publicise their activities
- the Inspired Generations project, which supports Winchester's clubs to share their sporting history and to use this to connect older and younger generations, as well as working with the Sporting Memories Network to support their 'sporting memories group' in Winchester
We also ran the Winchester Community Games at the Bar End sports stadium in 2015, 2016 and 2017, as part of our local Olympic legacy.
In addition to these ongoing projects, we also undertake "catalytic" activities, which are designed to give a boost to a particular local issue or a new initiative. Examples of our recent catalytic efforts include:
- Undertaking community bus surveys and drafting a paper on sustainable transport options in 2016-17, to improve people's access to Winchester's public amenities; this paper was shared with Stagecoach, Winchester City councillors, Hampshire County Council officers responsible for bus services and the Winchester movement strategy, and a wide range of stakeholders involved in the development of the new Winchester Sport and Leisure Park at Bar End. We worked with a range of community fora and residents' groups on this issue.
- Co-ordinating an Open Letter to Tesco PLC in 2016, to encourage them to safeguard the Garrison Ground at Bar End for long-term sport and leisure uses rather than for housebuilding. This letter and related efforts were very successful – Tesco PLC sold the Ground to Winchester City Council in late 2016 and it now forms part of the new Winchester Sport and Leisure Park. We have urged Winchester City Council to formally protect the remaining playing fields, and they are in the process of registering them with Fields In Trust. This will protect them for sport and recreational use in perpetuity!
- Supporting the development and launch of the Winchester Half Marathon in 2016, including hosting the inaugural children's race at the Winchester Community Games. We worked with Rees Leisure on this, and since then the Winchester Half Marathon has gone from strength to strength!
- Working with the national Sporting Memories Network in 2015-16, in order to bring their unique sporting memories groups to Winchester and the broader county. Since then, Sporting Memories Network Hampshire has become well established and has reminiscence groups running in various settings from Farnborough through to Portsmouth and Southampton, and even into Dorset!