Date published: 10/07/2013
Southam College in Warwickshire welcomed the President of the Football Foundation, Lord Pendry, back to officially open their new changing facilities and artificial grass pitch (AGP).
Lord Pendry last visited the college in 2010 to announce the award, which also saw a showcase of the official World Cup football, used later that summer at the World Cup finals.
The opening was marked by a football festival, with games, matches and coaching sessions taking place on the AGP throughout the day involving students as well as players from local primary schools and clubs. There was also a challenge match between Southam College staff and Southam United FC coaches.
Southam College will manage the new facilities together with Southam United FC. The superb venue will be used for both training and competitive matches and will give other local football clubs and organisations the opportunity to support the development of local players, coaches and referees.
The new sports pavilion comprises: a community sports room with refreshment facilities, a computer suite for FA training courses and coaching development, four changing rooms, two referees rooms, two disabled changing and shower rooms as well as storage facilities.
The college worked in partnership with the Birmingham FA to secure a £688,424 grant from the Football Foundation. Funded by the Premier League, The FA, and the Government (via Sport England), the Football Foundation is the country’s largest sports charity. Since it was launched in 2000, the Foundation has awarded around 9,000 grants worth more than £420m towards improving grassroots sport, which it has used to attract additional partnership funding of over £520m.
Lord Pendry, President of the Football Foundation, said: “It is fantastic to return to Southam College to see the real impact of Football Foundation funding. It gives me great pleasure to officially open their new facilities. Congratulations to everyone involved in this project for their hard work and for ensuring its completion.
“The Football Foundation continues and is committed to supporting projects like this across the country with the funds generously provided by our funding partners, the Premier League, The FA, Government and Sport England.”
Ranjit Samra, Head Teacher of Southam College, said: “The grant from the Football Foundation and other generous donors has allowed us to create our own theatre of dreams for the local community here in Southam.
“In 2004 the then Deputy Head teachers at the College, Mr David Knapp and Mr Roger Eadon, had a vision to turn a boggy patch of grass at the College into a modern artificial grass pitch, available for students and the community. Their dedication and the hard work of members of the local community and the Birmingham FA over a number of years has resulted inthe successful completion of this project.”
Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said:“It is so rewarding to see this new facility completed and ready for use by the local community. Alongside the Birmingham FA, Southam College has worked extremely hard to ensure this project has come to fruition and deserve great credit for its endeavours.
“This project in Warwickshire is a wonderful example of what the Football Foundation is doing right across the country. Foundation investment is helping to transform the national inventory of facilities that supports the grassroots game in this country, and thanks must go to our funding partners, the Premier League, The FA, and the Government (via Sport England) for their crucial and generous financial support, without which none of this would be possible.”
For more information about the work the Football Foundation is doing all over the country visit www.footballfoundation.org.uk or follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/FootballFoundtn.
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