Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40onsıde| ISSUE 38 COVER STORY 16 Harry honed his skills at Peter May as a youngster. only to produce more players of Kane’s quality – that remains a fortunate by- product of these facilities – but to make sure that the greatest number of people possible have access to quality facilities in which to play sport. Taking into account the thousands of budding young footballers that have trained and played matches on the artificial pitch over the years, it was no wonder that the surface had reached the end of its serviceable life in 2015. So, step forward the Football Foundation who, through the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, awarded a £368,696 grant to contribute to the cost of installing a full-size, floodlit, state- of-the-art third generation (3G) artificial grass pitch (AGP) and spectator viewing area – a facility that Kane described simply as: “Amazing.” In order to maximise the investment from the Premier League, The FA and the Government through Sport England, the Football Foundation never awards 100% of the total project cost of a facility. Instead, the Foundation typically gives half the money needed to build the facility. Not only does this make what money the Foundation does award go further, it means the facility in question is more invested, literally, in the project. Anyone applying to the Football Foundation for funding must be able to demonstrate that they have used the Foundation’s grant as leverage – or, to pull in – money from other sources. In the case of the Peter May Sports Centre project, partnership funding was also forthcoming from the facility owners, London Playing Fields Foundation (£135,000), and the London Marathon Charitable Trust (£75,000). With funding agreed, the next step in the process of getting a facility built is the compilation of the Football Development Plan, which is a vision for how football should be delivered on the artificial pitch, emphasising increases in participation levels. In Peter May’s case that involved the London Playing Fields Foundation working with local clubs, the London FA and the Football Foundation to put together the five-year strategy. The Foundation is central to these discussions because there is little point building a state-of-the-art facility if no one is going to use it. This is certainly not an issue at the Peter May Sports Centre with demand already outstripping supply. The Tottenham Hotspur Foundation use the pitch extensively during school holidays when their community outreach coaches run sessions on the pitch. Spurs coaches spend vital hours helping local teenagers achieve volunteering qualifications, which are designed to act as a gateway to future employment. Fellow professional club Colchester United FC are already using the pitch to run their Elite Player Performance Centre for players aged between 12-16. The force for good that a representative from a professional club can have over an impressionable young footballer should not be underestimated. Reminiscing about a decade or so ago, Kane – still dreaming of one day playing for Spurs – recalls the moment a Range Rover pulled up alongside a game of football he was having with his mates in the park. It was Jermaine Defoe, then of Spurs, who had pitched up for a game! The gesture stuck with Kane, Defoe remembers too, who feels the same duty to ‘give back’ where he can. While watching a group of youngsters try out the new artificial pitch for the very first time, he said: “Not so long ago, I was just like those kids who are using the facility now, training hard and enjoying my football – we all start out in the grassroots game after all.” The centre borders London and Essex, which means it receives guidance from the County FAs of each area. At the moment, plans are being put in place between the London Playing Fields Foundation and the Essex FA to deliver a local Under-21 competition, which will aim to provide more flexible playing opportunities for local clubs and ease the transition for players from youth to adult football. THE PETER MAY SPORTS CENTRE AT-A-GLANCE The artificial pitch was refurbished in 2016 thanks to a £368,696 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund. Famous alumni include Harry Kane, David Beckham and Ravi Bopara. The Tottenham Hotspur Foundation use the pitch to help local youngsters gain volunteering qualifications. Colchester United and the Leyton Orient Advanced Soccer School are also resident users. Future plans include an Under-21 league, girls’ football festival and small-sided football on Sunday mornings.