How the Foundation’s unique
after-build support means sites
realise their full potential
Kuljit Randhawa, one of the Foundation’s Activity and
Sustainability Advisors (ASAs), outlines his team’s work
of ensuring facilities maximise their usage, using the example
ofWincanton Recreational Trust.
In February 2009,Wincanton Recreational Trust
received a Foundation grant of £19,815 as part
of a £40,815 project to build a new floodlit third
generation artificial grass pitch (3G AGP) at the
Wincanton Sports Ground (WSG).
TheWSG is a multi-sport hub site set in rural
South East Somerset; its facilities include a
Foundation-funded 3G AGP.The site was chosen
for Foundation Activity and Sustainability Advisor
(ASA) intervention to improve usage of the 3G
AGP and develop new partnerships, to create
opportunities for football provision at the site.
With the help of ASA intervention, theWSG
developed a new user and community group
which encompassed a wide range of participants,
including Somerset County FA, to engage with
the future development of the site.The group is
now working together to develop new activity and
participation opportunities at the facility.
TheWSG also worked with the ASA to secure
additional Foundation funding specifically linked
to ASA intervention to develop a cohort of
new coaches.These coaches have supported
the development of new football sessions and
new teams.
Additional support from Somerset County FA
provides continuous mentoring and development
opportunities for the coaches.They are working to
develop and market the site as a new South East
Somerset Football Development Centre, and as a
result of this, theWSG will be hosting 2,000 young
players for the District Youth Finals in the Summer.
Other new partners such as AFC Bournemouth
Community Sports Trust, and the Arsenal Soccer
Schools, are now providing structured coaching
sessions throughout the year.
Following ASA intervention, there was an overall
participation increase of 44% on the 3G AGP,
including a participation increase of 98% in
women’s football.There was also a significant 47%
increase in hourly usage per week, from 15 hours
to 22 hours.
Stuart Matthews, Chair of theWSG committee
said:
“By working closely with the Foundation ASA
and the County FA we can make our wonderful
facilities a hub for football development in South
Somerset. In these difficult financial times, it is
so good to know that the Foundation is striving
to help groups like ours fill that gap to develop
sport in our communities and equally develop our
community through sport.”
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| The Football Foundation Magazine | Issue 32
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