0 Chelsea FC Link Up with Staines School & Agripower in Opening of New Pitch

IMG 0069The next John Terry could well be sitting in a classroom at Matthew Arnold School in Staines thanks to the opening of a state-of-the-art artificial pitch completed by Agripower Contractors.

The Staines school is celebrating both the opening of the new full size 3G, fully flood lit pitch and a link-up with Chelsea FC.

The new facility was officially opened last month, with the Football Foundation contributing half of the £550,000 cost and the school raising the rest over a three year period of fundraising.

Among the guests of honour were Shaun Gore, the former Fulham defender who is now Chelsea's community manager, and Kylie Davies, Chelsea Ladies' Welsh international defender.

The school had been working on this project for over three years. It had taken so long because objections from the Environment Agency and English Heritage, meaning that the original plans were changed on a frequent basis.

Due to an ancient relic under the school grounds and residents' concerns over the flood lights, the site of the pitch had to be moved, and the school were not allowed to raise the pitch due to flooding concerns from the Environment Agency. This meant that a lot of the initial digging work had to be hand-dug rather than using excavators and then removed from the site through a busy school.

The pitch will also be used by other regular clubs, and the likes of Staines Town, Colne Valley, Halliford Colts, Staines Lammas, JB Rangers and AGC Egham have already played on it.

The artificial surface chosen for this project was the 60mm monofilament D-Vision from Desso Sports Systems which was chosen due to the soft natural appearance and high-wear characteristics inherent with Desso Products.
The new facility comes hot on the heels of a link-up with the Chelsea FC Foundation, which will see Blues coaches based at the Kingston Road School.

This will see Chelsea deliver regular coaching to the local community, as well as help set up a sixth form football academy at Matthew Arnold, in conjunction with neighbours Strodes College, in Egham.

Roland Davey, assistant headteacher at Matthew Arnold, said: "This is a much needed training facility for the school and it will be used by so many children and groups, boys and girls. Obviously it is good for Matthew Arnold School but also for the surrounding areas as well. It is world class."

Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, added: "We are delighted that the local community will have access to these fantastic new facilities, and commend the school and the local FA for their hard work in making this happen.

"This is the latest example of thousands of projects across the country that the Football Foundation is supporting, with money provided by the Premier League, The FA and the Government."

For further information, please contact Agripower Contractors on 01494 866776 or visit www.agripower.co.uk

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