A MAJOR funding boost from lottery chiefs will help Ayr Cricket Club improve their coaching programme.

More than £3.8 million in National Lottery funds is being shared by almost 500 groups across Scotland.

This community based cash boost comes from National Lottery Awards for All Scotland which provides grants from £500 to £10,000 with funds raised by the National Lottery. sportscotland, the national agency for sport in Scotland, has chosen 51 sport and physical activity community projects across the country which will benefit from this investment.

The windfall ensures grassroots sport clubs in Scotland, delivering everything from wheelchair football to kayaking and American football to shinty, will now get the green light to go ahead.

Ayr Cricket Club, based at Cambusdoon Sports Club are just one of the groups thanking National Lottery players and sportscotland. Their grant of £1,930 means qualified coaches can deliver training sessions as well as purchasing new equipment to support growing memberships.

The team are in a very strong position, challenging for the Western Premier Division title.

Club captain Andi McElnea said: "We are absolutely delighted to get funding, which can improve our Friday night training sessions. We can also buy new equipment, including a bowling machine and nets. Also we can help develop the Academy players from the club, who have good prospects. The current team have been very successful and what we now want is a good team to follow on from them.

"The funding also helps us to carry on the training sessions right throughout the year - in the winter the coaching sessions are held at the Ayrshire Athletics Arena in Kilmarnock."

Stewart Harris, Chief Executive, sportscotland, said: “At sportscotland, we believe in the power of sport and its ability to bring communities together.

“Almost £4 million of National Lottery Awards for All Scotland funding announced through this initiative will make a huge difference to local groups like Ayr Cricket Club with ambition to provide more and better opportunities to take part in sport and physical activity in the heart of their communities. National Lottery Awards for All Scotland awards grants to community, arts and sports groups on behalf of Big Lottery Fund, Creative Scotland and sportscotland.