Date published: 12/01/2015
A state-of-the-art third generation (3G) artificial grass pitch was officially opened at Wodson Park Sports Cente, Hertfordshire, recently, thanks to a £237,163 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which provides grants towards developing new or refurbished grassroots football facilities.
Mark Prisk, MP for Hertford and Stortford, and F2 Football Freestylers, Billy Wingrove and Jeremy Lynch, were on hand to cut the ceremonial ribbon at the refurbished 3G AGP, which will be heavily used by local schools and grassroots clubs. The previous sand-based playing surface was in a state of disrepair and participation at the site was limited as a result.
The Centre will work in partnership with Wodson Park Rangers FC, Ware Lions FC, Bengeo Tigers FC and Bury Rangers FC, who are expected to create a further 40 teams between them over the next five years through this new facility. The site will also host a lunch-time league, coaching education andwill be the venue for the first ‘Herts6's’ competition, a small sided league run by Hertfordshire FA.
The Wodson Park Trust worked in partnership with the Hertfordshire FA to secure a£237,163grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund. Wodson Park’s opening ceremony follows the two recent openings in Hertfordshire of another 3G AGP at Monk’s Walk School and a new changing room pavilion at Barkway Recreation Ground, both funded by 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 £510m towards improving grassroots sport, which it has used to attract additional partnership funding of over £720m – over £1.2bn of investment into the grassroots game.
Since 2000 the Football Foundation Funding Partners’ investment has provided 114 grants worth £8.6m towards grassroots sports projects worth over £16m across the whole of Hertfordshire.
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.
Mark Prisk, MP for Hertford and Stortford, commented: “It was a privilege to officially open the new 3G pitch at Wodson Park. I know just how hard the Wodson Park Trust, alongside the Football Foundation and Hertfordshire FA, have worked to ensure that this project came to fruition. This refurnished facility will be of tremendous benefit to local football clubs and community for many years to come and I’d like to thank the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund for their significant investment into my constituency.”
Jan Stock, Chief Executive of the Wodson Park Trust, remarked: “I’d like to thank Mark Prisk MP and the Hertfordshire FA for opening our new 3G pitch. The grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund has made our dream become a reality. East Herts now has a fantastic football facility which will benefit the whole community and encourage sport participation at grassroots level.”
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 new 3G AGP 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 Mark Prisk MP for taking time out to officially open the new facility.”
“Aided by the Hertfordshire FA, Wodson Park Trust 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:
• Jake Potts on 01920 487 091 or JPFootball@wodsonpark.org
• Bradley Cleveland on 0845 345 4555 Ext: 4282 or firstname.lastname@example.org