Conor Thomas will open a new 3G grass pitch funded by the Football Federation...
England Under-18 international and Coventry City FC star, Conor Thomas, will officially open a new floodlit third generation (3G) artificial grass pitch, funded by the Football Foundation, in Warwickshire tomorrow.
The new 3G pitch at Kenilworth School replaces the previous, sand-based surface and provides one full-size football pitch that can also be adapted to provide for smaller-sided games. The project has also seen the refurbishment and replacement of fencing, floodlighting and goalposts.
Sky Blues in the Community will also benefit from the new pitch as they plan to use the site for football training camps in the holiday periods for children around Coventry and Warwickshire.
The opening will take place on Wednesday 19 December at 1.30pm at Meadow Community Sports Centre, Leyes Lane, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, CV8 2DA.
Coventry City midfielder Conor, who has made 33 appearances for the club, said: “Kenilworth School’s new 3G pitch is fantastic! It’s a top quality surface that looks great to play on.
“Local sports facilities are so important for sport at all levels. Facilities like this give people a space to exercise, stay healthy and enjoy the game. Well done to everyone involved for their efforts in securing the Football Foundation grant, which meant that this school site has been built with the help of cash from the Premier League, FA and government – via Sport England.”
Kenilworth School and Warwick District Council worked in partnership with the Birmingham FA to secure a £149,000 grant from the Football Foundation.
Funded by the Premier League, The FA, and the Government (via Sport England), the Football Foundation is the country’s largest sports charity. Since it was launched in 2000, the Foundation has awarded around 8,000 grants worth more than £420m towards improving grassroots sport, which it has used to attract additional partnership funding of over £520m.
Local grassroots football clubs Leamington Hibernian FC, Kenilworth Town FC and Kenilworth Wardens FC will also benefit from the new pitch, which will provide a quality surface for small-sided football leagues for males, females and veterans. The FA Skills Centre for Kenilworth will be held at the site, which will also host annual Respect and Kick It Out tournaments.
Ian Lockren, Assistant Headteacher at Kenilworth School, said: “We are really grateful to the Football Foundation for providing this grant which represents 50% of the total cost of the project. The new surface greatly enhances the playing experience for the students at the school as well as the wider community, through Meadow Sports Centre.
“The strength of our partnership with Warwick District Council, which manages the facility on our behalf during the evenings, weekends and school holidays, has contributed to the success of this bid and will allow us to further develop football opportunities for many years to come.
“The Birmingham FA also played a crucial supporting role during the bidding process and we look forward to expanding playing opportunities for local clubs as part of our football development plan.”
Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “Alongside the Birmingham FA, Kenilworth School and Warwick District Council have worked extremely hard to make this fantastic new 3G playing surface happen.
“The Football Foundation is dedicated, with funding provided from the Premier League, The FA and government (via Sport England), to raising the standard of grassroots community sports facilities and to getting more people actively playing the national sport.”