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Stevenage boss opens new 3G pitch which will support nearly 1,750 people playing competitive football in Hertfordshire

Stevenage boss opens new 3G pitch which will support nearly 1,750 people playing competitive football in Hertfordshire

Date published: 19/11/2018
Stevenage boss Dino Maamira opens new 3G pitch which will support nearly 1,750 people playing competitive football in Hertfordshire
Richard Hale School headteacher, Ian Hawkins (left), is joined by Stevenage manager, Dino Maamria (centre) and Hertfordshire FA joint acting CEO, Karl Lingham Lingham (right) at the opening of the new all-weather pitch.

Stevenage manager Dino Maamria officially opened a new third generation (3G) artificial grass pitch (AGP)at Richard Hale School in Hertford yesterday (Thursday 15 November 2018). Their new facility was made possible thanks to investment from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which is delivered by the Football Foundation.

The grant enabled Richard Hale School to install a new 106m x 70m floodlit 3G AGP on their playing fields alongside two rugby pitches. The school gained Academy status in 2013 and the new facility will support the steps being taken to improve delivery of both curricular and extra-curricular sports programmes.

The new all-weather pitch has been installed with floodlights, twin bar fencing, goal storage recesses and acoustic fencing. In addition to this, it includes markings for 5v5, 7v7, 9v9 and 11v11 football for curriculum use by the school and two partner football clubs: Bury Rangers FC and Hertford Town Youth FC.

As the pitch has been installed with floodlights, it will increase capacity and availability of the facility for the partner clubs thanks to it being usable during the evenings, whilst the acoustic fencing provides further protection to local residents from excessive noise.

Richard Hale School were awarded a £400,146 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund towards the project. The school worked alongside the Football Foundation and the Hertfordshire 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.

The new surface is set to support the formation of over 110 new football teams playing at the site during the next five years. This will see a boost of nearly 1,750 people taking part in competitive football over this timeframe, with the most notable increase focusing on the 14 – 18 age groups.

Since 2000, the Football Foundation Funding Partners’ investment has provided 219 grants worth £10.8m towards grassroots sports projects worth over £19.4m across the whole of Hertfordshire County FA region.

Matt Botheras, Richard Hale School Business Manager, said: “We would like to thank Stevenage FC Manager, Dino Maamria, for officially opening this wonderful facility and to the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund for their significant investment and support. We would also like to thank the Hertfordshire FA and Bury Rangers FC for their drive, determination and support in bringing this project to fruition.

“The facility will allow year-round, floodlit access for the school and the local community for training and matches across the week and we are already seeing an increase in grassroots participation. We were delighted to see former Richard Hale School student Oliver Skipp make his first team debut for Tottenham Hotspur recently and we also hope that the new facility will help to inspire more students to aspire to reach that level.”

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 Richard Hale School has now opened their state-of-the-art 3G AGP in Hertford, 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.”

ENDS

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“The facility will allow year-round, floodlit access for the school and the local community for training and matches across the week and we are already seeing an increase in grassroots participation.” - Matt Botheras, Richard Hale School Business Manager

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