Date published: 24/06/2015
Rt Hon Richard Caborn, former Minister for Sport and Trustee of the Football Foundation, was at Maltby Academy in South Yorkshire today (Wednesday 24 June) to officially open their new floodlit third generation (3G) artificial grass pitch (AGP). The project was made possible thanks to a £338,295 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which is delivered by the Football Foundation and provides grants towards developing new or refurbished grassroots football facilities.
Rt Hon Richard Caborn, who served as an MP for Sheffield Central for 27 years, cut the ceremonial ribbon at Maltby Academy. The funding has transformed a steeply sloping, disused grass field into a state-of-the-art all-weather playing surface. The pitch will be used extensively all-year round by pupils, grassroots clubs, community groups, the Rotherham United Community Sports Trust and by Sheffield FC who are operating a scholarship programme in partnership with Maltby Academy.
The Football Foundation worked with Maltby Academy and Sheffield & Hallamshire County FA to produce a five-year Football Development Plan (FDP), which is a vision for how football will be delivered at the site with the emphasis placed on increasing and maximising participation. Strong partnerships are already in place with local FA Charter Standard Clubs Maltby JFC and Maltby Miners Welfare JFC, who will regularly use the new 3G AGP for training and matches. The FDP will see an additional 15 teams created at the Academy and both partner clubs over the next five years, including 11 new women and girls’ teams and two new senior men’s teams.
The new 3G AGP at Maltby Academy will be used by the Rotherham United Community Sports Trust, who will run sport inclusion projects, coaching sessions and holiday soccer schools. The Sheffield & Hallamshire CFA will also hold coach education courses and provide opportunities for recreational football at the site.
Rt Hon Richard Caborn was joined at the opening ceremony by Lord and Lady Scarbrough, David Sutton (Executive Principal, Maltby Academy) and Jack Matthews (County Development Manager, Sheffield & Hallamshire CFA).
The Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund is funded by the Premier League, The FA, and the Government, via Sport England. It is delivered by the Football Foundation, the country’s largest sports charity. The Football Foundation is currently celebrating its 15-year Anniversary. Since it was launched in 2000, the Foundation has awarded around 13,000 grants worth more than £530m towards improving grassroots sport. It has used this investment to attract additional partnership funding of over £740m – delivering over £1.3bn of investment into the grassroots game.
Since 2000 the Football Foundation Funding Partners’ investment has provided 133 grants worth £11.2m towards grassroots sports projects worth over £27.4m across the whole of the Sheffield & Hallamshire region.
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.
Richard Caborn said: “I was delighted to be at Maltby Academy to officially open their fantastic new 3G pitch, made possible thanks to the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund. The facility will have a tremendous impact on sport in the local area and hopefully help produce some future stars for South Yorkshire’s professional clubs.
“I have been closely involved with the work of the Football Foundation since its formation in 2000 and over the last 15 years, the Foundation has directed investment from the Premier League, The FA and Government via Sport England into areas where the need for community sports facilities is greatest by working closely with County FAs and FA Regional Facilities Investment Managers.
“It is essential that we continue to invest into grassroots facilities to ensure that participation is increased, players’ technical skills are improved and links with the professional game are strengthened. We are making huge strides in this area thanks to the work of the Football Foundation, long may it continue.”
The new facility also attracted praise from Dan Walker, BBC Sport presenter and Football Foundation Ambassador, who added: “Maltby Academy’s new state-of-the-art 3G playing surface will provide a massive boost to grassroots football in South Yorkshire – my home patch. Everyone involved at the Academy, Football Foundation and Sheffield & Hallamshire CFA deserve a whopping great pat on the back.
“As a Football Foundation Ambassador I’ve seen many of the 3G pitch facilities and they certainly beat the muddy pitches that I used to numptie around on. It's great to see a number of bodies getting together to get people off their backsides and out playing football."
Roger Reade FCIS, General Secretary of the Sheffield & Hallamshire County FA, commented: “This is a first-class playing surface that Maltby’s pupils and the local community will really enjoy playing their football on. In the 15 years since the Football Foundation launched, the Sheffield & Hallamshire CFA has worked closely with the Foundation to deliver 133 grassroots projects worth £27 million for the area. So this is the latest of many grassroots successes for our region.
“The Football Development Plan for this site will see many more football teams created, coaches qualified and women’s football increase significantly. So this is a very exciting development and we look forward to this part of South Yorkshire enjoying the benefits of this investment from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund. I want to congratulate everyone involved in making this wonderful facility become a reality.”
David Sutton, Executive Principal, Maltby Academy/Learning Trust, said: “Colleagues at Maltby have worked closely with Sheffield & Hallamshire CFA and the Football Foundation over a number of years to plan and deliver this exciting football development programme.
"We are thrilled to open this exceptional facility in Maltby and are committed to working with local and regional partners to improve grassroots football and sport. This development would not have been possible without support from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund. I would also like to thank Rt Hon Richard Caborn, who officially opened our 3G pitch.”
For more information contact:
- Graham Hayward (Maltby Academy) on 01709 812 864 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Bradley Cleveland on 07548 710 093 or email@example.com