0 Stevenage boss opens new 3G pitch at Richard Hale School

Stevenage manager Dino Maamria officially opened a new third generation (3G) artificial grass pitch (AGP)at Richard Hale School in Hertford yesterday (Thursday 15 November 2018).

Richard Hale School headteacher, Ian Hawkins (left), is joined by Stevenage manager, Dino Maamria (centre) and Hertfordshire FA joint acting CEO, Karl Lingham (right) at the opening of the new all-weather pitch.

Their new facility was made possible thanks to investment from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which is delivered by the Football Foundation.

The grant enabled Richard Hale School to install a new 106m x 70m floodlit 3G AGP on their playing fields alongside two rugby pitches. The school gained Academy status in 2013 and the new facility will support the steps being taken to improve delivery of both curricular and extra-curricular sports programmes.

The new all-weather pitch has been installed with floodlights, twin bar fencing, goal storage recesses and acoustic fencing. In addition to this, it includes markings for 5v5, 7v7, 9v9 and 11v11 football for curriculum use by the school and two partner football clubs: Bury Rangers FC and Hertford Town Youth FC.

As the pitch has been installed with floodlights, it will increase capacity and availability of the facility for the partner clubs thanks to it being usable during the evenings, whilst the acoustic fencing provides further protection to local residents from excessive noise.

Richard Hale School were awarded a £400,146 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund towards the project. The school worked alongside the Football Foundation and the Hertfordshire FA to compile a five-year Football Development Plan, which is a vision of how sport will be played on site with an emphasis on increasing participation.

The new surface is set to support the formation of over 110 new football teams playing at the site during the next five years. This will see a boost of nearly 1,750 people taking part in competitive football over this timeframe, with the most notable increase focusing on the 14 - 18 age groups.

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