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BBC presenter Mike Bushell opens first-of-its-kind 3G pitch in Whitchurch, Hampshire

BBC presenter Mike Bushell opens first-of-its-kind 3G pitch in Whitchurch, Hampshire

Date published: 21/03/2019
BBC presenter Mike Bushell opens first-of-its-kind 3G pitch in Whitchurch, Hampshire
Mike Bushell poses with teachers and students at Testbourne Community School after officially open their new all-weather pitch.

BBC Sport presenter Mike Bushell officially opened Testbourne Community School’s new floodlit third generation (3G) artificial grass pitch (AGP) recently (Wednesday 20 March).

The new full-size pitch was made possible thanks to investment from the Premier League, The FA and Government's Football Foundation.

After netting a £474,800 grant from the Football Foundation, work begun on the site in July 2018. The new pitch provides the school’s PE Department with a first-class facility and can be used by local community sport and recreation groups outside of school hours.

With no other all-weather surfaces within 10 miles of the school, Hampshire County FA identified the site as a priority area to offer local youth football clubs with an accessible training facility. Another key factor for Hampshire FA was to provide essential match play opportunities for youth football due to insufficient pitches in the area.

The new facility will serve two partner clubs, Whitchurch FC and Overton Youth FC. The partner clubs worked in conjunction with Hampshire FA to focus on increasing provision for competitive football participation over the next five years and aim to establish 20 new youth football teams between them during this time.

Candice Wright, Community Manager at Testbourne Community School, said: “We would like to thank BBC Sport Commentator Mike Bushell for officially opening our fantastic new facility. We would also like to express our thanks to the Football Foundation for their contribution to this project. The 3G pitch is such a great resource for our community and is really beneficial in improving grassroots sport at a local level.”

Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “The support of the Premier League, The FA and government enables the Football Foundation to help improve community sports facilities like this one across the country. Their funding has played a key role in delivering this new all-weather pitch in Hampshire and I am delighted for everyone associated with Testbourne Community School.

“This is one example we want to make people in Hampshire aware of, that they have the kind of quality pitches and changing rooms that are taken for granted in other counties. We will continue to support projects nationwide, but we cannot do this on our own, so we are encouraging organisations in the area to join our movement to deliver quality football facilities for people in Hampshire once and for all.

“Taking part in community sport at any level offers many benefits and rewards, not least the opportunity for people to enjoy themselves and socialise with different members of the community.”

ENDS

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The 3G pitch is such a great resource for our community and is really beneficial in improving grassroots sport at a local level.” - Candice Wright, Community Manager at Testbourne Community School