Uniting communities through sport – Brookvale Recreation Centre
Halton Borough Council are providing a safe space for people the local community in Runcorn, Cheshire, to come together through sport, thanks to funding from the Premier League, The FA and Government’s Football Foundation.
After receiving a £300k grant from the Foundation in 2021, the Council were able to refurbish the existing facilities at Brookvale Recreation Centre to deliver a top-quality new 3G football turf pitch. This pitch forms part of a leisure centre, which also includes a swimming pool, gym, sports hall and changing rooms.
As well as providing a home for local grassroots clubs, the Council uses these facilities to deliver weekly ‘Kops and Kids’ sessions, which aim to develop positive relationships between the local community and Cheshire Police.
“Without Kops and Kids, I don’t know what I’d be doing now. I’ve struggled with my mental health, but I come here to take my mind of everything and it really helps. Hopefully, it’ll help other people as well” – says Mathew, a Kops and Kids player.
“Without Kops and Kids, I don’t know what I’d be doing now. I’ve struggled with my mental health, but I come here to take my mind of everything and it really helps. Hopefully, it’ll help other people as well”
Around 40 kids take part in these sessions each week, which include football activity as well as mentoring on employability skills.
“Without the Football Foundation’s funding, we don’t know where these kids would be and what they’d be up to. It’s nice to know that they’re safe and that their parents know where they are too” – says David Todd, Kops and Kids Lead Coach.
Brookvale Recreation Centre is also home to local grassroots football clubs, Beechwood JFC and Brookvale United Ladies as well as Liverpool FA, who use the 3G pitch to deliver football sessions aimed at getting workers back into sport.