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New all-weather pitch unveiled in South East London at St Paul's Academy

New all-weather pitch unveiled in South East London at St Paul’s Academy

Date published: 10/07/2017
New all-weather pitch unveiled in South East London at St Paul's Academy

A state-of-the-art third generation (3G) artificial grass pitch (AGP) was officially opened at St Paul’s Academy. The new facility was made possible thanks to a grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which is delivered by the Football Foundation.

The grant received by the school enabled them to build the first class facility, which comprises of a floodlit all-weather pitch and spectator viewing areas areas, which is expected to boost football participation amongst the 14-25-year-old demographic by 46%. 

The new pitch will be used by the Academy and its partner club, Kent Football United FC, to deliver training and fixtures. Other users include the London FA and local primary schools. 

The school currently has eight teams playing in both Kent and English National Cup competitions. As a result of the new 3G AGP, they expect to increase this number to 21. This will include the introduction of five new female teams and a mixed disability team. 

The London FA will use the pitch to deliver Walking Football sessions and the Just Play programme for players aged 14-25, which gives local people the opportunity to benefit from sport both socially and physically. 

The school worked in partnership with the London FA to secure a £422,093 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund. They also worked alongside the London FA and the Football Foundation to compile a five-year Football Development Plan, which is a vision of how sport will be played on site with an emphasis on increasing participation. 

Founded in 2000, the Football Foundation is the largest sports charity in the UK funded by the Premier League, The FA and Government, via Sport England. It develops new and refurbished grassroots sports facilities in order to improve the quality and experience of playing sport at the grassroots level. Since it was launched in 2000, the Foundation has awarded around 15,000 grants worth more than £580m towards improving grassroots sport, which it has used to attract additional partnership funding of over £800m – £1.4bn of investment into the grassroots game. 

Since 2000 the Football Foundation Funding Partners’ investment has provided 346grants worth £27.4m towards grassroots sports projects worth over £66.6m across the whole of London. 

By providing more high-quality facilities, coupled with coaching at the appropriate age group, the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund aims to improve the experience for regular players as well as attracting new players to the game. Many of the new state-of-the-art facilities will serve to strengthen the connection between professional football clubs and their local communities, particularly in the most deprived areas of the country, through the professional clubs’ community trusts’ outreach work. 

Michael Maher, Football Coach, St Paul’s Academy, said: “We are looking forward to the 3G pitch enriching the lives of our students and local community. The new pitch, which can be used during all types of weather, will ensure students can learn new skills and enjoy their sport on a state-of-the-art playing surface, and I’d like to thank the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund for their vital financial support.” 

Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “I am delighted that a grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund has enabled St Paul’s Academy build a fantastic all-weather pitch. This development will provide a real boost to sport in the local area. 

“Since 2000, the Football Foundation has supported grassroots projects worth more than £1.4bn, investing into areas where the need is greatest and where it will have the biggest impact in terms of getting more people playing football and a wide range of other sports.  

“With this funding, provided by the Premier League, The FA and the Government, through Sport England, we are helping to improve community sports facilities across the country and thereby the playing experience of those who take part. This latest project in London is the latest addition to the inventory of modern community sports sites we are developing that cater for the needs of local people who want to play sport purely for the love of it and to stay healthy.”

 

ENDS

For more information contact:
- Ozan Akif on 0208 311 3868 or ozan.akif@stpauls.greenwich.sch.uk
- Sophie Huby on 0345 345 4555 Ext: 4292 or sophie.huby@footballfoundation.org.uk

 


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“We are looking forward to the 3G pitch enriching the lives of our students and local community. The new pitch, which can be used during all types of weather, will ensure students can learn new skills and enjoy their sport on a state-of-the-art playing surface, and I’d like to thank the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund for their vital financial support.”

Michael Maher, Coach, St Paul's Academy

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