Whiteley benefits from new all-weather training facilities

Press Release: 29/10/2013

Boys playing football on the new pitch at Whiteley

Two new all-weather pitches were officially opened in Whiteley today (Tuesday 29 October) during October half-term.

The pitches at Meadowside Leisure Centre cost £80,000 and have been funded mostly by DC Leisure, with Winchester City Council contributing £10,000 and Hampshire FA providing a football-foundation grant of £3,000 for new goals.

The facilities have had an instant impact with free community football, corporate matches and club football all taking place since they first started to be used. The pitches already operate at 70% capacity during peak periods.

It is hoped that the facilities will help strengthen football in the area and bookings are being taken to continue to improve the current usage.

This half-term free holiday football has been taking place with over 60 young people involved in the programme. The coaching has been provided by the Saints Foundation which has been working alongside local young people to develop their football skills and technique. Many of the attendees are from Whiteley Wanderers FC, the local community charter standard club who have over 270 young people involved in their teams. The club will continue to use the facilities which will provide them with a home-base all year round, helping solve travel problems for parents and players.

Peter Leamore, Area Manager for DC Leisure, said:

DC Leisure have a commitment to raising participation in sport and these facilities have been required as a result of an increase in football provision locally. The facilities are of a fantastic standard and we hope to see both daytime and evening usage increase over the next year.

Cllr Robert Humby, Deputy Leader at Winchester City Council with portfolio responsibilities for sport, said:

It’s fantastic to see a commitment from DC Leisure to help enhance the facilities on offer here at Meadowside Leisure Centre. These pitches will have a real impact on the community and help provide local people with more opportunity to become involved in sport.

For more information on the project or to make a booking at Meadowside Leisure Centre please contact 01489 577464.