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Surprise for lucky Sheffield youngsters as TV's Dan Walker joins in PE lesson

Surprise for lucky Sheffield youngsters as TV's Dan Walker joins in PE lesson

Date published: 18/09/2013
Wisewood

A group of lucky Sheffield primary school pupils were delighted today as BBC One’s Football Focus presenter, Dan Walker, turned up to take part in their PE lesson on a new Football Foundation-funded third generation (3G) artificial grass (AGP) pitch at Wisewood Sports Centre.

Dan, who is a local resident and an Ambassador for the Football Foundation, kicked off the start of works at Wisewood Sports Centre in December last year with the presentation of a cheque for £150,000 of Foundation funding to Sheffield City Council towards developing the new state-of-the-art playing surface. He also donned hard hat and high visibility jacket and had a tour of the building site to see how an artificial pitch like this was installed.

The 3G AGP, funded by the Football Foundation, the country’s largest sports charity, and supported by funding from Sheffield City Council, was opened in June of this year by The Lord Mayor elect and has been used throughout the summer months for football activity days and by local youth team, Wisewood Juniors Little Lions.

Today, Dan finally got the chance to see the site in action and was impressed with what he saw. He even tested out the new playing surface himself, joining in with neighbouring Wisewood Community Primary School’s football session for years five and six. He also chatted to the pupils about their favourite football teams and what they thought of the new facility.

Dan Walker said: “The pitch was still in the early stages of being developed when I visited the site previously – I had to wear a hard hat and steel toe caps then.

“As a keen footballer, and a Sheffield resident, I’m really pleased to see this sort of investment going into improving the city’s grassroots sport sites. In fact, since it was launched in 2000, the Football Foundation has awarded 118 grants worth £9m to grassroots projects in Sheffield.”

Sheffield City Council, alongside Wisewood Sports Centre and the partner clubs worked with the Sheffield and Hallamshire FA to secure a £150,000 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.

Maggie Birt, Wisewood Sports Centre Manager, added: “We’re absolutely delighted with the new 3G playing surface. It has made such a difference to sport in the area, and a lot more local people and schools are getting the chance to become active and stay healthy.

“It was a lot of work by a number of different partners, including Sheffield Council, the Sheffield and Hallamshire FA and the Football Foundation, to turn the dream of this pitch into a reality, and having him present the Foundation’s cheque to us was a real boost.

“To now be able to welcome Dan Walker back to see what we have built with the funding that he handed over to us is the icing on the cake!”

For more information about the work the Football Foundation is doing all over the country visit www.footballfoundation.org.uk or follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/FootballFoundtn.

For more information contact:
• Maggie Birt on 01142 335 184 or Maggie.birt@sheffield.gov.uk
• Abigail Jones on 0845 345 4555 ext: 4282 or abigail.jones@footballfoundation.org.uk

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“As a keen footballer, and a Sheffield resident, I’m really pleased to see this sort of investment going into improving the city’s grassroots sport sites. In fact, since it was launched in 2000, the Football Foundation has awarded 118 grants worth £9m to grassroots projects in Sheffield.”

Dan Walker

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