Page 11 - ONSIDE Issue 30

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The Minister for Spor t and Olympics, Hugh
Rober tson MP, and Foundation Ambassador,
Georgie Bingham, officially opened a brand new
spor ting facility in Faversham, funded by the
Foundation, as the Olympic torch passed through
the town on the same day.
The state-of-the-ar t third generation ar tificial grass
pitch at The Abbey School in Faversham, Kent, is
set to create a lasting spor ting legacy for both
pupils and the local community.
The project will enable the school to develop
its football activities, ensuring that it has a
comprehensive programme for all year groups.
The facility will also allow three FA Char ter
Standard par tner clubs to grow and sustain their
par ticipation levels, providing them with a quality
facility to assist with their training and match
programmes. Forecasts suggest that the pitch will
be used by over 2,200 people on a weekly basis.
The club worked in par tnership with the Kent FA
to secure a £390,000 grant from the Foundation.
Speaking to Foundation Ambassador, Georgie
Bingham – who hosted coverage of the 2012
Paralympic Games on Channel 4 this summer
– Hugh Rober tson said:
“The pitch itself looks
fantastic.You’ve got to make the link between
communities up and down the country.That’s
where facilities such as this come in, that’s
where the work of the Foundation, Sport England
and others involved, is so important.
“Projects like this are essential to create a
sporting legacy for after the world leaves
London, having hosted the 2012 Olympic and
Paralympic Games.
“If you are able to teach young people in
Faversham the basic football skills that they need
– how to stop a ball; how to pass and move; small
sided games that The FA are talking about so
much – if you can teach those skills this early, you
have a much better chance of producing teams
that play like Spain or Barcelona.
“If, on the other hand, they are hoofing the
ball around on an old muddy pitch, with masses
of space, you’ve got much more time to
make errors and learn to play football in a
different way.
“The Foundation is incredibly important. It
creates a unique funding formula between the
Government, the Premier League,The FA and
Sport England.
“I have always been a great supporter of the
Foundation and when the Government was
making cuts, we ensured Foundation funding was
preserved because of its efficiency, consistency
in delivering facilities and judgement on where
facilities are needed most.The judgement of the
Foundation was so good, they put a facility in
Faversham and it is already fully booked!”
Georgie Bingham said:
“This is a stunning new
playing surface that the school and people of
Faversham can enjoy. It will cater for a wide
range of sports, in addition to football, and
will mean that far more boys, girls and adults
will be able to stay fit and healthy. Everyone
who has worked hard to make this happen
deserves real credit.”
Simon Finlan, Director of Spor t at The Abbey
School, added:
“Without the support of the
Kent County FA and the Foundation, this project
would never have materialised. In these times
of austerity, we needed all of the help we could
get to raise the funds required for a facility of
this scale.
“Thanks to their support and guidance, along
with the backing of our MP – Hugh Robertson,
the town of Faversham will now get a floodlit
third generation all-weather pitch, that will help
develop football both within the school, and in
the community as a whole.”
The Foundation is
incredibly important.
It creates a unique
funding formula between
the Government, the
Premier League, The FA
and Sport England.”
| The Football Foundation Magazine | Issue 30