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England Women's Coach Opens New Shenfield 3G Pitch

Tue 15th Jun 2010 | Football Stadiums & Facilities

England Women’s Coach Hope Powell was amongst the dignitaries to assist with the launch of a 3G Artificial Grass Pitch with a pavilion and grass football surfaces at Shenfield High School on Thursday 27th May.

A day of celebration and activities took place at the Alexander Lane site where students at the Business and Enterprising School and various interested groups combined to celebrate ‘The Big Kick-Off’ for the new facility, which has benefited from Essex County Council Olympic Legacy and Football Foundation funding. Hard-working parents also cooperated to earn £80,000 worth of revenue towards the project.

Primary schools were involved in an afternoon of events to highlight their involvement within the School Sports Hub Partnership followed by an exhibition game and demonstrations. Powell observed along with FA Charter Standard Community status club Hutton FC, who were the main partner club involved in the application.

The new pavilion comprises four changing rooms and access for disabled people, referee rooms and a social area complete with quarters to serve refreshments. The social area can also act as a space for teaching or discussing tactics and reviewing training sessions or matches through video. This building sits adjacent to the floodlit 3G Artificial Grass Pitch which offers the opportunity for high level play and training throughout the year.

Hutton, along with the Colchester United’s Female Centre of Excellence and a group of FA Tesco Skills Coaches, showcased penalty shootouts, games and coaching sessions and Club Secretary Kevin Lorkins was proud of the collaboration’s achievements. He said: “We were extremely pleased to open the facility as it was the end of a long process that a lot of people from the school and the club had put so much hard work into.”

“You can only achieve these things through partnership work and there were events which raised funds towards the Helen Rollason Cancer Charity as well. There have been a number of lettings booked already, including a six-a-side league and a couple of clubs, and it will be easier to take bookings for the winter because of the lights. It’s no surprise that people will want to enjoy such a fantastic facility as this.”

The Council’s 2012 Legacy Sports Facility Capital Fund is a £2million allocation of resources which will help develop nearby sporting facilities long after the Olympics have departed the streets of London. The Essex County FA was awarded £1.5million from the ECC with the aim of enhancing new and improved amenities and raising participation levels. Meanwhile, the Football Foundation is dedicated to revitalising the grassroots of the game, developing it as a force for social cohesion and as a vehicle for education.

Brendan Walshe, ECFA County Development Manager, added: “Compiling the required information for this type of project to submit a funding application to the Football Foundation is a very detailed process. There have been numerous meetings between ourselves, Football Association and Foundation staff, the school and Hutton FC during the last two years but it’s all worthwhile when the end result is a new facility like this.”

 

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