Date published: 04/12/2015
Pictured (L to R) – James Doyle (WRCFA), Paul Green (Rotherham United FC), George Panayiotou (Castleford Academy), Rt Hon Yvette Cooper, (MP for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford), Bill Clift (Castleford Academy & Castleford Town), Daniel McGeachie (WRCFA)
The new full-size floodlit third generation (3G) artificial grass pitch (AGP) will provide additional opportunities for the school, community and the partner clubs to deliver football for years to come.
The project was made possible thanks to £376,928 funding from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which provides grants towards developing new or refurbished grassroots football facilities. The project also received over £35,000 from the Rugby Football League Trust as well as Castleford Academy raising half the project cost themselves.
The Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund is funded by the Premier League, The FA, and the Government, via Sport England. It is delivered by the Football Foundation, the country’s largest sports charity. Since it was launched in 2000, the Foundation has awarded around 14,000 grants worth more than £540m towards improving grassroots sport, which it has used to attract additional partnership funding of over £777m – over £1.3bn of investment into the grassroots game.
This new state-of-the-art facility will serve to strengthen the connection between football clubs and the local community
Rt Hon Yvette Cooper, MP for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford, said: “I was so pleased to officially open Castleford Academy’s new 3G pitch. I visited the school when the Football Foundation announced they had awarded a Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund grant towards its development. It is fantastic to now see the pitch in action so soon. The pupils at Castleford Academy have always been exceptional at sport and it’s great to finally see professional facilities that the pupils and other members of the community can use.
“The funding has made a significant impact on grassroots football and other sports at the school and for local clubs like Castleford White Rose Ladies FC, enabling many young people in Castleford to start playing. I wish the school and local clubs all the best for the future.”
Castleford White Rose Ladies FC are the largest all-female football club in West Riding, and have previously struggled with the availability of both artificial and grass pitches Thanks to this new 3G AGP, the club is able to use the site for the majority of their training sessions and fixtures.
Additionally, Castleford Town JFC is developing an adult learning disability team with guidance from West Riding FA. The Academy has a specialist unit for hearing impairment and pupils will be signposted to the Club's taster sessions to develop small sided teams.
Hannah Simpson, CEO of West Riding County FA said: “The new 3G pitch at Castleford Academy is a prime example of how funding from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund is making a real difference at grassroots level. This facility will provide much needed opportunities for participation in football, at the heart of the rugby league stronghold which is Castleford! I look forward to seeing football in Castleford go from strength to strength from here”.