Date published: 24/06/2013
Grassroots sport in South Derbyshire received a significant boost following the official opening of a third generation (3G) artificial grass pitch part-funded by the Football Foundation, the country’s largest sports charity.
3G pitches are the latest revolution in all-weather playing facilities and their durability enables far more sport to be played each week compared to real grass. Full-sized and floodlit, the new facility will mean the beautiful game can be enjoyed in all of its glory by John Port School students, residents and local clubs – even after it has got dark.
Construction of the pitch also benefitted Derbyshire County FA Community Charter Standard winners Hilton Harriers Football Club, who will use the state-of-the-art facilities as a training base. The club has been recognised by the Foundation on a number of previous occasions, receiving a combined award of £342,405.
The official opening brought to a close five months of work by partners South Derbyshire District Council, John Port School, Active Nation and Hilton Harriers FC. The partners worked alongside the Derbyshire County FA in order to secure a £238,453 grant from the Football Foundation contributing towards the £491,153 cost.
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.
Andrew Brooks, Chairman at Hilton Harriers FC, said: “We have hundreds of players on our books and every single one of them is looking forward to stepping out on the pitch for the first time. It looks impressive and feels fantastic, so we are delighted to have it here in South Derbyshire.”
Cllr John Lemmon, Chairman of Housing and Community Services at South Derbyshire District Council, said: “New all-weather pitches are crucial to the development of aspiring footballers, who need quality facilities to train and play on, so it is brilliant to see this project come to fruition.
“All of the partners, including the Football Foundation, have shown great vision and foresight to help us to create an Olympic legacy in South Derbyshire.”
Barrie Whyman MBE, Chairman of Governors at John Port School, added: “This is an amazing facility, not just for our pupils but the community as a whole. We hope it further enhances the experiences of everyone who loves playing football.”
Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive at the Football Foundation, said: “It is so rewarding to see this new facility completed and ready for use by the community. Alongside the Derbyshire County FA, all the partners have worked extremely hard to ensure this project has come to fruition and deserve great credit for its endeavours.
“This project in Etwall is a wonderful example of what the Football Foundation is doing right across the country. Foundation investment is helping to transform the national inventory of facilities that supports the grassroots game in this country, and thanks must go to our funding partners, the Premier League, The FA, and the Government (via Sport England) for their crucial and generous financial support, without which none of this would be possible.”
For more information contact:
• Keith Bull at South Derbyshire District Council on 01283 228761 or email@example.com
• Harriet Drudge at the Football Foundation on 0845 345 4555 Ext: 4274 or firstname.lastname@example.org