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England bosses unveil new 300,000 pitch to boost grassroots football in Kent

Mon 6th Oct 2014 | Football Stadiums & Facilities

England’s senior team managers have been out in force to unveil a state-of-the-art new artificial grass pitch in Kent.

Women’s Head Coach Mark Sampson and Men’s boss Roy Hodgson took time out from preparations for their upcoming internationals to visit Charles Darwin School in Biggin Hill joining boys and girls in a football PE session and holding an impromptu question & answer session on the brand new £300,000 surface.

The new pitch was funded as part of an upgrade to the sports facilities at the school following a successful bid to the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund.

The visit coincided with the announcement of a further £7m worth of funding to 88 grassroots projects over the coming months. The grants will support projects worth £31m and follow on from a £5.8m injection that benefitted 67 projects in June.

Alex Horne, The FA’s General Secretary, said: “The investment by The FA through the Football Foundation continues to make a genuine impact on the quality of football facilities up and down the country. This latest tranche of funding presents even more opportunities to boost grassroots and deliver a highly efficient investment programme into facilities across the country.”

The investment at Charles Darwin takes the amount of grassroots funding that the Kent FA has overseen to over £1m in local projects this year. 

Paul Dolan, Kent FA Chief Executive said: “We’re delighted to be celebrating the opening of a new state-of-the-art 3G pitch at Charles Darwin School. The Kent FA aims to establish safe and structured football opportunities for the benefit of all. And with the growth of housing in Kent, the contribution that grassroots football can make to building stronger communities, reducing crime, improving health, and tackling obesity is clear.”

Roy Hodgson Men’s’ seniors faces back-to-back qualifiers against San Marino and Estonia in the next fortnight, while Mark Sampson's Lionesses will take on the two-time world champions Germany on Sunday 23 November - the first time that the Women’s team will play at the new Wembley. The game will form part of the team’s preparations for next summer’s FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Since 2000, the Football Foundation - the country’s largest sports charity - has awarded around 13,000 grants towards improving grassroots football. It is funded by the Premier League, The FA, and the Government, via Sport England and with additional partnership funding has been able to plough over £1.2bn of investment into the grassroots game so far.

Posted by: Kev Howland 


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