Swanmore College’s new sports facility to benefit the whole community
SWANMORE College celebrated the opening of its new multi use games area (MUGA) by inviting former England centre forward James Beattie to officially unveil the new facility.
The new 3G pitch was made possible thanks to investment from the Premier League, Football Association and government's Football Foundation, for which Beattie has been an ambassador since 2015.
The college decided to invest in the new pitches after its sand based previous surface had become ‘no longer fit for purpose’ due to often being waterlogged. After netting a £138,553 grant, work began in September. The new MUGA will provide a facility which can be used by students and the local community irrespective of the weather.
Headteacher, Kyle Jonathan, said: ‘We would like to thank the Premier League, the FA and Sport England for supporting this project through the Football Foundation. This refurbishment will benefit our pupils and help to improve grassroots sport in the area through our community programme.’
The college hope the new facility will increase participation in grassroots sport with local clubs able to increase the number of teams they are currently able to run. It is anticipated that Waltham Wolves and Bishop Waltham Dynamos, two of the teams who use the college’s facilities, will be able to increase their number of youth teams from 15 to 23, and from 13 to 21, respectively. The MUGA will also provide a training venue for Winchester Flyers Women and Girls FC Mini-Soccer and youth leagues.
Paul Thorogood, chief executive of the Football Foundation, said: ‘Grassroots sport plays an important role in communities across the UK, creating opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds. That is why I am delighted that Swanmore College has now opened their state-of-the-art 3G in Hampshire, thanks to investment from the Football Foundation.
‘Grassroots football provides so many benefits for members of the community, not least of which is the opportunity to enjoy themselves.’