New sports field will be Wickham’s Olympic legacy

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THE Olympic legacy will live on in one village thanks to more than £40,000 of funding to create a new all-weather sports pitch.

Wickham Parish Council has secured £46,215 from Sport England’s Inspired Facilities fund for the sports pitch, which will be created on land next to Wickham Church of England Primary School.

The project is aimed at increasing young people’s participation in football.

And every sports facility that receives funding will carry the London 2012 Inspire mark – celebrating the link to the games.

Maria Ackland, the school’s headteacher said: ‘The all-weather sports pitch will provide an amazing sports facility for the children of Wickham.

‘We are delighted to be working with Wickham Parish Council to improve the sports facilities in our locality and look forward to using the new pitch to promote healthy life choices for our children and their families.’

Parish clerk Nicki Oliver added: ‘We’re delighted to secure the first Inspired Facilities grant which will enable us to provide an all-weather pitch that will be available for the whole community but in particular will provide training facilities for our excellent local football teams.

‘It’s the cornerstone of our strategy to have outstanding club facilities for the 2012 Olympics’ legacy.’

The fund is part of the £135m Places People Play legacy programme.

Sport England’s chairman, Richard Lewis, said: ‘This investment will be a fantastic sporting legacy for Wickham.

‘This fund has really hit the mark with sports clubs in Hampshire.

‘It shows we’re offering the legacy that people want for their local community.

‘For hundreds of clubs and tens of thousands of people, 2012 will be the year their local sports facilities got better.’

The project is one of 350 across the UK which has been offered a total of £17.4m in Olympic legacy funding to boost community sports groups.

The second round is now open, offering more groups the chance for a share of a £10m pot.