A new artificial grass pitch at a school in Sandwell is giving young footballers the chance to become stars of the future – and have ambitions of playing for their country.
As the England Women’s team played brilliantly in the World Cup in France this summer, young players at Ferndale Primary School have been able to practice their skills on the new small-sized grass 3G pitch.
Stars from West Bromwich Albion FC Women’s football team – including head coach Louis Sowe and defender Anna Wilcox unveiled the new pitch with young footballers from the school.
The project at the school’s site at Ferndale Avenue, Great Barr, was made possible with a £145,480 grant from the Premier League, the FA and the Government’s Football Foundation.
School head teacher Ruth Gillett said: “We are delighted to get this fantastic new facility because Ferndale Primary School is committed to physical and mental health support.
“This new pitch is great for all of our pupils. We have further developed our partnership with the Albion Foundation to provide football sessions for girls and people with disabilities.”
The grant comes as part of a national campaign to improve facilities by the Football Foundation Founded in 2000, the Football Foundation is the largest sports charity in the UK funded by the Premier League, The FA and Government, via Sport England.
It develops new and refurbished grassroots sports facilities in order to improve the quality and experience of playing sport at the grassroots level.
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 and I am delighted for everyone associated with Ferndale Primary School.”
Since it was launched in 2000, the Foundation has awarded 16,000 grants worth more than £655m towards improving grassroots sport, which it has used to attract additional partnership funding of £862m – totalling over £1.5bn of investment into the grassroots game.
Since 2000, the Football Foundation Funding Partners’ investment has provided 432 grants worth £21.2m towards grassroots sports projects worth over £49.4m across the whole of Birmingham County FA.