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Football Foundation
Football Foundation
Friends of Pelican Park praised by Hull City boss Adkins

Friends of Pelican Park praised by Hull City boss Adkins

Date published: 06 July 2018

Press release

Nigel Adkins

Friends of Pelican Park celebrated their pitch improvement project in Hull, made possible by investment from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, during a two-day Sports Festival recently (Saturday 30 June). The grant has been delivered by the Football Foundation, the nation’s largest sports charity.

This has enabled the Friends of Pelican Park charity, which operates the Pelican Park site, to undertake the project due to the available pitches being in poor condition. The Park offers one full-size, one 9v9 and two Mini-Soccer grass pitches – all of which will benefit. There is also a cricket square and tennis courts on-site.

The grant has been used not only to perform much-needed levelling and cultivation of natural grass on the site’s 9v9 pitch, but also to purchase state-of-the-art grounds maintenance equipment. This includes a new tractor and mowing system, which will help the charity to improve and sustain the quality of all pitches on-site.

Pelican United FC are just one of the local grassroots clubs that will be able to take advantage of the upgraded playing surfaces following the project. The site is currently home to a total of 11 football teams, as well as two cricket teams, and local schools also have access to the pitches.

Friends of Pelican Park were awarded a £38,040 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund towards the project. The charity worked alongside the Football Foundation and the East Riding County FA 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.

Thanks to the major improvements to the quality of the pitches, they will be able to support higher levels of play. It is expected that this will enable ten new teams to be established on-site across users, taking the total from 11 to 21. It is hoped that this will include two new girls’ teams and a new Under-15 team. Along with the strengthening of player pathways within the clubs, this supports an expected 183% rise in football participation for those aged between 14 and 25.

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 18,000 grants worth more than £638m towards improving grassroots sport, which it has used to attract additional partnership funding of £841m – totalling almost £1.5bn of investment into the grassroots game.

Since 2000, the Football Foundation Funding Partners’ investment has provided 193 grants worth £7.1m towards grassroots sports projects worth almost £16m across the whole of East Riding.

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.

Nigel Adkins, Hull City FC manager and Football Foundation Ambassador, said: “Huge credit to Friends of Pelican Park for their work on this project. The improved playing surfaces and the new grounds equipment purchased will have real a positive impact on football in this part of Hull.

“Better pitches are critical to sustaining and increasing participation in the game, as well as allowing players to properly develop their technical ability. You simply cannot do that on a quagmire.

“The Football Foundation has funded nearly 200 grassroots sports projects worth £16m across Hull and East Riding since 2000. That investment has come from the Premier League, FA and Government, and the good news is there is a lot more to come in the future.

“We could be seeing some cracking home-grown talent being developed from these new facilities - and maybe some future Hull City stars too.”

Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “Grassroots sport plays an important role in communities across the UK, creating opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds. That is why I am delighted that Friends of Pelican Park has been able to undertake their pitch upgrade project, thanks to investment from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund.

“Continuing to improve access to high-quality facilities like this one is a key aim for the Premier League, The FA and the Government. Delivered by the Football Foundation, their funding supports projects for clubs and organisations all over the country and is helping to boost the number of people benefiting from sport through better facilities.

“Grassroots football provides so many benefits for members of the community, not least of which is the opportunity to enjoy themselves. Love for our national game, something that can be found across the country, is an integral part of what drives the Foundation and its Funding Partners to keep increasing the standards and quality of our facilities.”


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“We could be seeing some cracking home-grown talent being developed from these new facilities - and maybe some future Hull City stars too.” - Nigel Adkins, Hull City FC manager and Football Foundation Ambassador

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