Travelling miles to access all-weather sporting facilities is a thing of the past for the residents of Launceston in Cornwall thanks to the opening of a new floodlit third generation (3G) artificial grass pitch (AGP) at Launceston College recently.
Cornwall FA representative, Peter Stevenson (centre left), Launceston College Principal, Bryan Maywood (centre), and Scott Mann, MP for North Cornwall (centre right), unveil the new all-weather pitch at Launceston College
The new full-size pitch was made possible thanks to investment from the Premier League, The FA and Government's Football Foundation.
After netting a £487,117 grant from the Football Foundation, work begun on the site in March 2019. The new pitch replaces an old unlit and unused Redgra pitch, which was no longer fit for purpose. Not only will the college students benefit from a first-class facility, but also local community and sporting organisations can now increase the provision of sport and wellbeing activities.
The addition of the all-weather pitch is vital in maintaining participation during the traditional wet winter months in the local area. Many children and adults find themselves without competitive football for several weeks during the period from November to February. The new pitch will ensure games take place regularly and help prevent the drop out of players that is triggered during these periods.
With the nearest alternative 3G pitches over 10 miles away in Callington, Tavistock and Bodmin, Cornwall County FA identified the site as a priority area to provide accessible football facilities. It is estimated that nearly 500 additional people will start playing football on the pitch at Launceston College over the next five years. The creation of numerous women's and girls' teams will also support 270 female players participating in competitive football during this time frame.
Plymouth Argyle will also be working with the local Launceston community in developing opportunities for all. Mark Lovell, Head of Argyle Community Trust, said: "It's fantastic to see the project come to life. It has lots of potential and will certainly make a huge difference within the local community."
Mark Adams, Assistant Principal at Launceston College, said: "After lots of hard work from a dedicated team of people we are delighted that the new 3G football pitch is open and of such high quality. The pitch has potential to give so many a facility that the local community has been searching for. It will positively influence the lives of young and old alike. We would like to formally thank the Football Foundation, the Premier League, The FA and Government, our local partner clubs and the local community for their input and support in delivering this project to improve grassroots sport in our town."
Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: "The support of the Premier League, The FA and government enables the Football Foundation to help improve community sports facilities like this one across the country. Their funding has played a key role in delivering this new all-weather pitch in Cornwall and I am delighted for everyone associated with Launceston College.
"This is one example we want to make people in Cornwall aware of, that they have the kind of quality pitches and changing rooms that are taken for granted in other counties. We will continue to support projects nationwide, but we cannot do this on our own, so we are encouraging organisations in the area to join our movement to deliver quality football facilities for people in Cornwall once and for all.
"Taking part in community sport at any level offers many benefits and rewards, not least the opportunity for people to enjoy themselves and socialise with different members of the community."
You can read the originla article from the Football Foundation HERE