Grassroots sport in West Riding received a major boost following the opening of new changing rooms, funded by the Football Foundation, the country’s largest sports charity.
Leeds United legend, Eddie Gray, officially opened the new changing rooms, named the Phoenix, at Pool Sports and Social Club.
When Pool AFC’s old changing rooms were condemned, there was a real possibility that the club would fold. The opening will allow Pool AFC to continue their progress running a veterans team, three open age teams, a ladies team, and juniors at Under-16, Under-15, Under-14, Under-11, Under-10, and Under-8 level, as well as coaching five and six year olds.
The new sports pavilion comprises of: large en-suite home, away, and officials’ changing rooms, a kitchen and disabled toilets.
The club worked in partnership with the West Riding County FA to secure a £34,400 grant from the Football Foundation. Funded by the Premier League, The FA, and the Government (via Sport England), the Football Foundation is the country’s largest sports charity. Since it was launched in 2000, the Foundation has awarded around 8,000 grants worth more than £420m towards improving grassroots sport, which it has used to attract additional partnership funding of over £520m.
Other organisations that contributed to the project were: Green Leeds, Leeds Wellbeing (West North West Area support team), The Kirkby Foundation, Pool Parish Council, and The Village Recreation Ground Management Committee (RGMC). The landscaping along with a water supply installation to aid pitch irrigation was funded by Grantscape. The club also raised £5,000 towards the project.
Peter Wilkinson, Club secretary, said: “Our lack of experience was a problem when planning and starting this project. Thankfully, one of our juniors’ parents, Steve Kirk, came on board. With his help and much advice and guidance from the Football Foundation, and West Riding FA, the Phoenix project was successfully launched.”
Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “I am delighted to see this tremendous new facility complete and ready for use by the local community. The dedication and hard work of the Pool AFC committee and West Riding FA over a number of years has resulted inthe successful completion of this project.
“Now the important work begins to ensure the facility remains sustainable and benefits as many people as possible.
"None of this would be possible without the crucial cash provided by our funding partners the Premier League, The FA and the Government.”
For more information about the work the Football Foundation visit www.footballfoundation.org.uk or follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/FootballFoundtn.
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