Date published: 08/09/2015
Wellingborough Old Grammarians officially opened their new £99,997 real grass youth football area recently (Saturday 5 September 2015), made possible thanks to a £74,997 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which is delivered by the Football Foundation, the country’s largest sports charity.
Brian Hill, a former Old Grammarian and retired FIFA referee, as well as the Mayor of Wellingborough, Councillor Barry Graves, and Tom Pursglove MP, who plays cricket for the Old Grammarians, were all in attendance at the opening on Saturday.
The funding has addressed the shortage of small sided, 9x9 facilities in the area. This format of the game applies to Under-11s and Under-12s and will shortly be rolled out to children aged 13 and under. The 9x9 game is a vital step in the development of players’ technical development, and a pivotal stage for inspiring and maintaining the interest of individuals in physical activity.
The club worked in partnership with the Northamptonshire FA to secure the £74,997 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund.
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 13,000 grants worth more than £530m towards improving grassroots sport, which it has used to attract additional partnership funding of over £740m – over £1.3bn of investment into the grassroots game.
Across the whole of Northamptonshire, the Football Foundation has awarded 170 grants worth over £7.4m towards grassroots sports projects worth £15.3m.
Brian Hill, retired Premier League and FIFA referee and Old Grammarian, said: “As a former referee, I know the great importance that good grassroots facilities have on the national game. Having modern, weather-proof pitches for people to play on is vital for the development and sustainability of sites like this one, so thanks must go to the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund for its generous grant.”
“I have used the facilities here countless times over the years and the improvements made to the grounds will dramatically increase the experience of playing our national game for everyone.”
Tom Pursglove, MP for Corby, who is also an Old Grammarian, said: “As an active member of Wellingborough Old Grammarians, I am overjoyed that funding from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund has enabled pitch improvements to be made. I have very fond memories of playing sport here and this money will only go to improve my own, and others’ experience of playing football.
“The Football Foundation is ensuring that the grass roots game continues to grow at all levels, by improving sites like this. The funding given here will have a significant impact on sport in Wellingborough and North Northamptonshire and these new pitches will be used extensively by all members of the association and the community."
John Billing, Chairman of the Old Grammarians Sports Field Committee, said: “This new area will be a huge boost to the youth football section and will allow them to address the problem of the 9x9 facilities. Even with 28 acres of developed grassland, it was difficult to find a suitable area to play the 9x9 format without encroaching on areas used by adults or other sports but this project will give them their own high quality area.
“The imported topsoil and the application of a new Koro Drainage system on the surface, together with a network of standard drainage channels will enable the area to mature into a top class playing surface for youth football.”
Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “I am delighted that a Football Foundation grant of £74,997 will enable the Wellingborough Old Grammarians Association to develop the facilities at Sywell Road, which will allow them to expand their provision of youth and disability football. In partnership with the Northamptonshire FA, Wellingborough Old Grammarians have worked extremely hard to secure this funding from the Football Foundation.
“Since 2000, the Football Foundation has supported grassroots projects worth more than £1.3bn, 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 Wellingborough 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 if it and to stay healthy.”
Photographs courtesy of Adrian Howes.
For more information contact:
- John Billing on 01933 223887or BCaptainJohn@aol.com
- Alice Sherritt on 0345 345 4555 Ext. 4292 or firstname.lastname@example.org
If you live in or around Wellingborough, and would like to know more about the youth set up at Wellingborough Old Grammarians, please visit www.wellingborough-ogs.org.