£448,967 GRANT
Staffordshire based junior football club, Eccleshall
Eagles JFC, secured the result that they were
looking for when they were awarded a significant
grant from the Foundation.The funding from
the Foundation, together with money from the
Staffordshire County Council, will support the
Eagles’ dream of having a new home.
The Foundation contributed £448,967 towards
the £700,000 project which will help build a new
clubhouse at Drake Hall in Eccleshall.The whole
project will see the new site comprise of three
full-sized junior pitches and a clubhouse that will
become home to Eccleshall Eagles JFC.
Eccleshall Eagles JFC, a Charter Standard Junior
Football Club, has 12 junior teams for 6–17 year
olds, with 180 members.The club’s growth since
its formation in 2001, has regularly far outstripped
the availability of pitches locally.Areas used by the
club as pitches would sometimes be converted
farmers’ fields – the club has even had to move
cows off pitches before being able to train!
Jeremy Pert, Community Liaison Officer for
Eccleshall Eagles JFC, explains how with nowhere
to call home, the club struggles to find suitable
playing areas in the county:
“Many of the pitches
are completely unsuitable for training, let alone
playing competitive football matches on, and the
distances that many young people are forced to
travel is a very real barrier.
“Some of the pitches still have the ruts
from farmer’s tractors and others become
waterlogged quickly or have insufficient grass to
last a season and become like barren dust bowls
one minute, and mud baths the next, depending
on the weather.”
The club spent the past five years working with
partners to find a suitable new home.Thanks to
the Foundation, Staffordshire FA and Staffordshire
County Council, Eccleshall Eagles will be playing
at their new home in time for the start of the
2014 season.
Jon Busfield, Chairman of Eccleshall Eagles
JFC said:
“We are absolutely delighted that
the Foundation has supported the club’s
development plans, alongside existing
commitments from other funders, including
Sport England.
“We would like to thank them, as I am sure,
would a generation of grateful young people
in the Eccleshall area, who are going to benefit
from this significant investment.
“We are really looking forward to our first
competitive season playing at our new ground
– it will be like playing in a Cup Final every
weekend playing here!”
Birmingham City Ladies FC defender, Chelsea
Weston, officially opened a refurbished third
generation artificial grass pitch in Kidderminster.
King Charles I Secondary School worked in
partnership with theWorcestershire FA to secure
a £205,000 grant from the Foundation which
enabled them to replace their 25 year-old, sand
based pitch with a state-of-the-art third generation
artificial grass pitch.
Chelsea, Birmingham City Ladies FCYoung Player
of the Season 2012, cut the ribbon to the top
quality playing surface, which will be available for
students, local football clubs and the community
to train and play on.
Tim Gulliver, Head teacher at King Charles I
Secondary School, said:
“We are very grateful
for the funding, support and guidance we have
received from the Foundation.The grant has
enabled us to replace the 25 year-old sand based
pitch that is no longer fit for purpose with this
stunning new state-of-the-art pitch that will
benefit not only the students at King Charles
I Secondary School, but the Kidderminster
community as a whole.
“Without the input from the Foundation we
could not have realised this fantastic opportunity.”
Across Worcestershire, the Foundation has
awarded 47 grants worth £6.5m towards
grassroots sports projects worth a total of
nearly £14m.
| The Football Foundation Magazine | Issue 32
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