Date published: 10/11/2014
Walcountians Sports Club recently celebrated the opening of their refurbished clubhouse at the Clockhouse Ground in Woodmansterne, Surrey. The project was made possible thanks to a £90,538 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which provides grants towards developing new or refurbished grassroots football facilities.
The opening ceremony was attended by Surrey FA, Chief Executive, Caroline McRoyall and Mayor of Sutton, Cllr Arthur Hookway. The grant has enabled Walcountians Sports Club to replace the roof of their clubhouse and refurbish the interior to provide two new self-contained changing rooms, female toilets, wheelchair accessible toilets and a new entrance lobby. The roof needed to be urgently replaced as the clubhouse was in danger of being closed in the winter months due to constant leaks, which posed a threat to the safety of participants.
The remodelling of the changing rooms has allowed Walcountians Sports Club, who run football, rugby, cricket, hockey and lacrosse teams, to ensure that their facilities are accessible to all members of the local community. AFC Walcountians FC, who were awarded FA Charter Standard Club of the Year for Surrey in 2010, will use the refurbished facility to help form twelve new teams, including three female teams, over the next five years.
The club worked in partnership with the Surrey FA to secure a £90,538 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund. Since 2000 the Football Foundation funding partners’ investment has provided 141 grants worth £10.6m towards grassroots sports projects worth over £22m across the whole of Surrey.
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 Football Foundation has awarded around 13,000 grants worth more than £500m towards improving grassroots sport, which it has used to attract additional partnership funding of over £700m – over £1.2bn of investment into the grassroots game.
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.
Peter Chmielinski, Chairman, Walcountians Sports Club, said: “I am delighted that Walcountians have been able to carry out these extensive refurbishments to our clubhouse. These developments have allowed the club to provide a safe environment for all players and officials and we will hopefully attract lots of new members from the local area as a result.
“I am incredibly thankful for the investment from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund and the RFU. I’d also like to thank Caroline McRoyall and the Mayor of Sutton for giving up their time to attend the official opening.”
Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, added: “The Football Foundation is responsible for managing and delivering the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which is funded by the Premier League, The FA and the Government, via Sport England. This clubhouse refurbishment is an example of the positive impact that this funding is having on our grassroots game. First-class facilities like this are crucial to creating more opportunities for local people to enjoy regular sport. I’d also like to thank Caroline McRoyall for giving up her time to attend the opening of this excellent facility.
“Aided by the Surrey FA, Walcountians Sports Club deserves huge credit for taking a vision and turning it into a reality, using funding provided by the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund. Sport has the power to make a positive impact on the health of communities and this wonderful new facility will improve the sporting experience of local people and encourage them to be more active.”
For more information contact:
• Peter Chmielinskion 07799 868 701 or firstname.lastname@example.org
• Bradley Cleveland on 0845 345 4555 Ext: 4282 or email@example.com