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World Cup Pitches Come To Salford Primary Schools

World Cup Pitches Come To Salford Primary Schools

Date published: 18/05/2018
World Cup Pitches Come To Salford Primary Schools
Dawn Ridyard and David Nightingale (centre left and right), Headteachers at the two schools that have received the donated facilities from SIS Pitches, officially opened the two all-weather surfaces yesterday, which was cause for much celebration from the pupils. They were joined by George Mullan, CEO of SIS Pitches (centre right), David McDermott, Chief Operating Officer at the Football Foundation (centre left), John Shiels, Chief Executive at Manchester United Foundation (second from left) as well as a number of SIS Pitches representatives.

Schoolchildren and football fans in Greater Manchester will now benefit from a safe and enjoyable place to participate in grassroots football, following the opening of two new all-weather pitches for St Joseph the Worker RC Primary School and Moorfield Community Primary School yesterday (Thursday 17 May).

The 3G multi-purpose synthetic pitches have been donated by global specialists SIS Pitches. SIS Pitches has recently installed six of the 12 pitches for this year’s World Cup tournament in Russia; including at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, the location of the World Cup final. This will be the first time a World Cup final is played on anything but an all-natural surface, with the pitch set to be the most technologically advanced in the tournament’s history.

The organisation teamed up with the Football Foundation and Manchester United Foundation to develop the two SISTurf Superior playing surfaces for the schools in Irlam. They will be used by two primary schools as well as the local community, providing a fun and secure sporting environment in an otherwise underprivileged area.

Layton, a Year 3 pupil at Moorfield Community Primary School, said: “It’s amazing – we love it and can’t wait to play on it. We can really make sure we use all our skills because we aren’t scared of falling on the concrete – and it’s green!”

Manchester United Foundation has been involved in the project from its inception, originally identifying the primary schools as the site that would benefit the most from two new pitches.

Now, Manchester United Foundation will deliver a number of sessions using the state-of-the-art surfaces. This includes an afterschool girls’ football programme for Key Stage 2 pupils, which is helping to improve the number of young girls getting involved in the game – a key objective for the schools. Laila, a Year 6 pupil at St Joseph the Worker Primary School, said: “As young women most of us don’t get to practise football with the boys, because they can take over the playground easily.  But thanks to this pitch we have another space to arrange a game so there is more room for everyone to play. It’s for everyone, staff, pupils and families. We can all enjoy it together, playing, having fun and enjoying life!”

Additionally, Manchester United Foundation delivers Premier League Primary Stars sessions including Move With Manchester United, the objective of which is to improve children's agility, balance and coordination with the focus on pupils becoming confident and competent movers.

Not only will the new football facilities benefit pupils during school hours, but they will also provide a venue for other grassroots community teams. Irlam Vale FC, a local grassroots football club are already set to use the new pitches for training – having previously used the schools’ grass pitches before the project. There is an aim for children at the primary schools to be signed to the team.

John, a former Moorfield Community Primary School pupil who now returns to the site to deliver sports sessions, is delighted to see the new facilities available and said: “A lot has changed at the school since I was there. A safe green space that we can always play on was never available and now that has changed. These children are very lucky. It’s brilliant for the children who enjoy it every day.”

The synthetic pitches were developed by SIS Pitches specifically for 5-a-side or cross-field football use. The surfaces incorporate the finest fibrillated yarn available in the industry, and can be used all-year-round including throughout winter weather. Each pitch took four days to install, with the works being completed in just eight days.

George Mullan, CEO & Founder of SIS Pitches Ltd, said: “We’re proud to partner with the Football Foundation and deliver this incredibly worthwhile donation - the installation and construction of two new pitches. They will make a tremendous difference; not just for the local primary schools but the surrounding community.

“Both projects could not have been completed without the generous support of our subcontractors and suppliers who provided the materials, equipment and labour at no cost and we are very grateful to all of them. We hope with these state-of-the-art facilities, youngsters in Irlam will adopt football as a passion and be encouraged to stay active throughout their childhood. These pitches provide safe and accessible venues for locals to become involved in sport.”

John Shiels, Chief Executive of Manchester United Foundation, said: “For me, something like this facilitates all that is good about the beautiful game – and sometimes we forget that the beautiful games starts with young children, allowing them to express themselves in a safe and secure manner. That’s what this project will do, it epitomises it.

“For a lot of the schools we work in, their budgets go on different things – they don’t go on playing facilities. For SIS Pitches to come and provide this to two schools that may otherwise not have the opportunity to provide a facility like this for the kids, it’s just out of this world.”

Barbara Keeley, MP for Worsley and Eccles South, said: “I am delighted to hear that St Joseph the Worker Primary and Moorfield Community Primary have had these all-weather pitches installed.  I know they will make a real difference to the pupils at those schools and they could be a valuable asset to the wider community.

“I would like to thank SIS Pitches, the Football Foundation, Manchester United Foundation and all the other organisations who have helped to facilitate the installation of these pitches. Living active lifestyles is important for our physical and mental health and I hope that the benefits that these pitches bring will be felt widely.”

Dawn Ridyard, Headteacher at St Joseph the Worker Primary School, said: “Each day we have many very happy children playing on their new pitch! This whole process has been such a gift to us, I cannot thank those involved enough for their generosity, both in giving up their time and effort, and the kind donation.

“I would specifically like to thank the gentlemen who carried out the work on the pitches. They were an absolute pleasure to deal with and made the process of installing the pitches smooth and easy for us with minimum disruption. Projects like this do not usually happen to small primary schools like mine, I feel really blessed that we were chosen and can promise that these pitches will benefit thousands of children and the community for years to come.”

David Nightingale, Headteacher at Moorfield Community Primary School, said: “Although we have a huge field behind our school it is often waterlogged and not usable. This pitch means we can provide a safe, purposeful space for our children to partake in sports and physical educational development all year round! It is also used every break time and every lunch time. The children simply love it.”

SIS Pitches is a part of a framework agreement to provide the design, manufacture, installation and maintenance of artificial grass pitches. The agreement is in support of the Rugby Football Union (RFU), Football Association (FA), Sport England, England Hockey and Football Foundation (FF) capital investment programmes.

David McDermott, Chief Operating Officer of the Football Foundation, said: “From a wider perspective, the Football Foundation will continue to provide much-needed third generation artificial grass pitches (3G AGPs) across the country.  Given that all of these 3G AGPs will be delivered through the AGP Framework, I would encourage all organisations involved in the Framework to follow SIS Pitches' lead and give something back.”

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.

ENDS

To view a video of the event, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9g4q3Iz3VA

For further information on SIS Pitches, please contact:
- Tonic Communications on 01158 258 254 or sispitches@thetoniccomms.co.uk 

For further information on this news story, please contact:
- Sophie Huby on 0345 345 4555 Ext. 4292 or at sophie.huby@footballfoundation.org.uk
- Dawn Ridyard on 01619 211 695 or dawn.ridyard@salford.gov.uk


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“For me, something like this facilitates all that is good about the beautiful game – and sometimes we forget that the beautiful games starts with young children, allowing them to express themselves in a safe and secure manner. That’s what this project will do, it epitomises it."- John Shiels, Chief Executive of Manchester United Foundation

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