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University of Hull's new sports hub opened by local legend Dean Windass

University of Hull’s new sports hub opened by local legend Dean Windass

Date published: 22/08/2017
University of Hull’s new sports hub opened by local legend Dean Windass
Dave Varley, Head of Sport for the University of Hull (centre left) was delighted to see Dean Windass (centre) unveil the new sports hub. Local boxer Tommy Coyle (centre right) also joined proceedings.

Dean Windass, former Hull City FC striker who scored the winning goal to take the club to the Premier League for the first time in 2008, officially opened the University of Hull’s state-of-the-art sports hub yesterday (Tuesday 22 August). Windass, now a Club Ambassador for the Tigers, was joined by Tommy Coyle – former WBC Silver International lightweight champion boxer, also from Hull. The project was made possible thanks to a grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which is delivered by the Football Foundation. 

The grant has enabled the university to install a purpose built sports pavilion including: eight team changing rooms; two officials’ changing rooms; a physio room; a reception area; a kitchenette; spectator toilets and an equipment store. Additionally, the funding has helped to replace a natural grass pitch, prone to waterlogging, with a new third generation (3G) artificial grass pitch (AGP) that can accommodate football and rugby. 

Part of the project also included refurbishing the University’s three existing 3G AGPs, to keep them in optimal playing condition. These were originally installed thanks to a £493,711 grant from the Premier League, The FA and the Government, through Sport England, delivered by the Football Foundation back in 2005. 

The University of Hull worked alongside the East Riding 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. 

The site will not only benefit the university’s football teams, but will also be used by partner clubs Cottingham Rangers FC and Hull City Ladies FC. It is expected that the number of teams using the facility will increase from 74 to 93, boosting sports participation across all ages by 58%. 

This will include the introduction of nine new women’s sides across the partner clubs and the university, resulting in a 150% increase in female football participation at the site. Whilst the new pitch will be used mainly for football activity with some rugby usage, the pavilion will cater for a range of sports including American football, hockey and lacrosse. 

As the University of Hull is an official training partner of Hull City FC, their Tigers Trust will use the new hub to deliver a range of community outreach sessions each week including Just Play and FA Skills. The pavilion, which includes a classroom, will also be a venue for the East Riding FA’s delivery of coach education.  

University of Hull worked in partnership with the East Riding FA to secure a £500,000 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 198 grants worth £9.8m towards grassroots sports projects worth over £44.4m across the whole of East Riding

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. 

Steve Curtis, Partnership and Project Manager for Sport at the University of Hull, said: “We are thrilled to be opening this fantastic facility. Sport is a big part of life at the University of Hull and we place a huge emphasis on it. We are grateful to the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund for the significant investment in this fantastic facility. We would like to thank Hull City Tigers Ambassador, Dean Windass, for officially opening the facility, and we are looking forward to the positive impact this will have on grassroots sport.” 

Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “I am delighted that a grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund has enabled the University of Hull to install a new sports pavilion and playing surface, as well as refurbish their existing pitches. This development will provide a real boost to sport in the local area. My thanks go to Dean Windass and Tommy Coyle for taking the time to unveil the new hub. 

“Since 2000, the Football Foundation has supported grassroots projects worth more than £1.4bn, investing into areas where the need is greatest and where it will have the biggest impact in terms of getting more people playing football and a wide range of other sports.  

“With this funding, provided by the Premier League, The FA and the Government, through Sport England, we are helping to improve community sports facilities across the country and thereby the playing experience of those who take part. This latest project in Hull is the latest addition to the inventory of modern community sports sites we are developing that cater for the needs of local people who want to play sport purely for the love of it and to stay healthy.”

ENDS

For more information, please contact:
- Steve Curtis on 01482 466 491 or at s.curtis@hull.ac.uk
- Sophie Huby on 0345 345 4555 Ext: 4292 or at sophie.huby@footballfoundation.org.uk


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“We are thrilled to be opening this fantastic facility. Sport is a big part of life at the University of Hull and we place a huge emphasis on it. We are grateful to the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund for the significant investment in this fantastic facility."-  Steve Curtis, Partnership and Project Manager for Sport at University of Hull

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