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Local fundraising hero opens Hepworth United FC's new changing pavilion

Local fundraising hero opens Hepworth United FC’s new changing pavilion

Date published: 04/12/2017
Local fundraising hero opens Hepworth United FC’s new changing pavilion

Hepworth local Nick Thatcher – who has raised more than £110,000 in memory of his late son, a former Hepworth United FC player – officially opened Hepworth United FC’s state-of-the-art new changing pavilion in West Yorkshire yesterday (Sunday 3 December), thanks to a grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which is delivered by the Football Foundation. 

The grant enabled Hepworth United FC, which previously had no changing provision at their Far Lane site, to install a brand new changing pavilion. The facility comprises: two changing rooms; two officials’ rooms; a clubroom; a kitchen and bar; spectator toilets and storage.

This will benefit the club’s 300 members, giving players and spectators alike a more comfortable experience. Hepworth United FC, which was established in 1905, currently has 17 teams and caters for players aged six and over. All of their players will have access to the new pavilion, as well as community users. 

The club worked alongside the Sheffield and Hallamshire 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. 

Thanks to the improved experience for all, and the club’s plans to strengthen its links with local schools, Hepworth United FC expects to introduce eight new teams. This will include a new men’s open age side and a Veterans’ team – supporting a 97% increase in sports participation at the site for those over the age of 26. 

Additionally, as increasing female football provision is a key objective, the club will introduce a girls’ football co-ordinator in order to ensure that opportunities in the female game are available. It is also hoped that a new women’s open age side will be established, in addition to their existing team.

The club worked in partnership with the Sheffield and Hallamshire FA to secure a £340,019 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund. 

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 328 grants worth £12m towards grassroots sports projects worth over £25.7m across the whole of the Sheffield and Hallamshire area. 

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. 

David Brennan, Club Chairman, said: “It was a privilege to be able to ask Nick Thatcher to open our new clubhouse. Nick is maybe not widely known outside our club but within it he is a legend. Nick coached a junior team for over 10 years until March 2011 when his son, Huw, suffered a brain aneurysm during a game and lost his life. Nick set up a trust in Huw’s name and has since raised over £110,000 for brain injured people.  

“It would not have been possible for Hepworth United to build the new facility without the grant of £340,019 from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund. This new facility will hugely increase the overall footballing experience for both our members and also the local community, and it has secured the future of our football club for many years to come.” 

Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “The Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund provides the investment necessary to improve grassroots football facilities. So, I am delighted to see Hepworth United FC join thousands of local clubs who have reaped its benefit, in this case through the opening of their new changing pavilion.  

“Having delivered over £1.4bn of grassroots sports infrastructure projects, the Football Foundation has developed a network of accessible, first-class facilities in areas they will have the greatest impact – thanks to money from the Premier League, The FA and the Government via Sport England. 

“These facilities are more than places to play football at, these facilities are hubs of physical activity, the bedrock of local communities and ‘homes from home’ for so many who also use them as social outlets to learn new skills, gain work experience and other qualifications.” 

ENDS

For more information, please contact:
- David Brennan on 07718 625 216 or at david.brennan1@sky.com
- Sophie Huby on 0345 345 4555 Ext: 4292 or at sophie.huby@footballfoundation.org.uk


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"This new facility will hugely increase the overall footballing experience for both our members and also the local community, and it has secured the future of our football club for many years to come."- David Brennan, Hepworth United FC Chairman

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