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Rt Hon. Dame Rosie Winterton MP delighted to open Donny's new all-weather pitch

Rt Hon. Dame Rosie Winterton MP delighted to open Donny’s new all-weather pitch

Date published: 29/11/2017
Rt Hon. Dame Rosie Winterton MP delighted to open Donny’s new all-weather pitch

The Rt Hon. Dame Rosie Winterton, MP for Doncaster Central, officially opened Doncaster Rovers FC’s new state-of-the-art all-weather pitch at their Club Doncaster Sports Village recently (Saturday 25 November). This follows a jointly funded project between the owners of Doncaster Rovers FC and a grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which is delivered by the Football Foundation. 

The grant enabled the club to replace an existing grass pitch at their site with a brand new third generation (3G) artificial grass pitch (AGP). This is helping to address the demand for all-weather surfaces locally, with the Sports Village already having a second 3G AGP that is always fully booked.

The new facility will benefit a range of local groups and grassroots clubs. These include Doncaster Rovers Belles FC; Bessacarr JFC; AFC Bentley; FC Mighty Kicks; Club Doncaster Titans FC and the Doncaster Deaf Trust. The Doncaster District Junior League will also use the pitch as a central venue for its fixtures. 

The Club Doncaster Foundation is based at the Sports Village and will use the pitch to deliver a range of community outreach programmes, including Premier League Kicks sessions. The 3G AGP will also support Sheffield & Hallamshire FA in delivering coach and referee education. 

Doncaster Rovers FC worked alongside the Sheffield & 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 scheduling flexibility that the all-weather pitch will afford users, it is expected that the number of teams using the site will increase from 69 to 99. This supports the expected 497% boost in football participation across all ages. 

Improving female football provision is a key objective at the site, which is being helped by Doncaster Rovers Belles FC’s plans to centralise all training and matches at the Sports Village. As a result, it is predicted that overall female sports participation will increase by 275%.

The club worked in partnership with the Sheffield & Hallamshire FA to secure a £276,802 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 over £12m towards grassroots sports projects worth £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. 

The Rt Hon. Dame Rosie Winterton, MP for Doncaster Central, said: “I was very pleased to be invited to unveil the new all-weather pitch at the Club Doncaster Sports Village. As part of a larger community sports hub, I’m sure that the new pitch is excellently placed to benefit local people. Grassroots sport is really important to our area, and it’s always a pleasure to see new facilities like this open. 

“Doncaster Rovers FC have done a fantastic job of bringing this new all-weather pitch to fruition, thanks to funding from the Premier League, The FA and the Government, through Sport England. Their funding, delivered by the Football Foundation, is hard at work across England supporting projects just like this.” 

Gavin Baldwin, Chief Executive of Club Doncaster, said: “This investment means we can further widen the facilities on offer at the Club Doncaster Sports Village, as we strive to offer world-class support for the region. The new facility wouldn’t have been possible if not for the generosity of Terry Bramall and the late Dick Watson, owners of Doncaster Rovers FC. I’d like to thank the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund for helping us provide these extra facilities. It will have a really positive impact on grassroots sports in the Doncaster area.” 

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 Doncaster Rovers FC join thousands of local clubs who have reaped its benefit, in this case through the opening of their new all-weather pitch. My thanks go to the Rt Hon. Dame Rosie Winterton for taking the time to officially unveil it.  

“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:
- Luke Thornhill on 01302 764 669 or at media@clubdoncaster.co.uk 
- Sophie Huby on 0345 345 4555 Ext: 4292 or at sophie.huby@footballfoundation.org.uk


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"As part of a larger community sports hub, I’m sure that the new pitch is excellently placed to benefit local people. Grassroots sport is really important to our area, and it’s always a pleasure to see new facilities like this open."-  The Rt Hon. Dame Rosie Winterton, MP for Doncaster Central

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