Football: FA chairman Greg Dyke to officially open new football centre at Oaklands Park in Almondsbury
9:51am Thursday 31st October 2013 in Sport
GLOUCESTERSHIRE FA chief executive David Neale says the arrival of a new football centre at their Almondsbury HQ will offer “significant opportunities” for local youngsters, writes Simon Parkinson.
Thanks largely to a £420,000 Football Foundation grant, the new facility at Oaklands Park, which will be officially unveiled by FA chairman Greg Dyke on Friday, November 8, will also provide an exciting stage for clubs at all levels of the grassroots game to train and perform on, whether it be mini-soccer, 9v9 or the traditional 11v11 format for teenagers and adults.
Weekly coaching for girls and disabled players in the venue’s two player development centres has been introduced, while the complex also provides all-weather coaching facilities for local clubs and schools throughout the week.
The new sports facility comprises a floodlit, full-size 3G pitch to FIFA 1* standard, together with six refurbished changing rooms and enhanced spectator facilities.
Toolstation Western League sides Winterbourne United and Roman Glass St George currently play at Oaklands Park.
Gloucestershire FA secured the grant from the Football Foundation. Funded by the Premier League, the FA and the government (via Sport England), the Foundation is the country’s largest sports charity. Since it was launched in 2000, the Foundation has awarded around 9,500 grants worth more than £410m towards improving grassroots sport, which it has used to attract additional partnership funding of over £560m.
Neale enthused: “Football Foundation funding has enabled us to build a first-class facility that will help us develop and inspire both this, and the next generation, of grassroots players, coaches and referees.
“The new facilities will provide significant new opportunities for young people in the area as we now offer both match-day and coaching facilities for local clubs and schools, unaffected by wet weather through the winter months.”
Paul Thorogood, chief executive of the Football Foundation, added: “This is an outstanding new football centre, which will benefit football and other sports in and around South Gloucestershire.
“Developing new grassroots facilities such as this is essential to increasing the number of people who have a chance to stay fit and healthy through participation in sport.
“The Football Foundation is dedicated to improving sports sites across the country with investment from our funding partners – the Premier League, The FA and the government (via Sport England). I congratulate Gloucestershire Football Association for their hard work on this project.”
For more information about the work the Gloucestershire FA is doing across the county, visit www.GloucestershireFA.com
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