£675,000 all-weather pitch opened in Axminster
- Credit: Archant
New facility at Axe Valley Community College will boost playing and coaching opportunities across the region
A £675,000 all-weather pitch that will boost playing and coaching opportunities across the area was officially opened at Axe Valley Community College last week.
The new facility, funded by the Football Association and Premier League, is the only full-sized 3G pitch in a 15-mile radius and supports the FA’s new four-year national game strategy to boost participation, coaching and facilities launched last month.
FA Chairman Greg Dyke said: “The opening of this facility precisely meets the aspirations of The FA to ensure that grassroots football facilities are pulled up by their bootstraps and we ensure that clubs and players have an environment in which to grow and development – both in terms of participation and coaching for the next generation of English players.”
Former Torquay united manager Leroy Rosenior, Exeter City director of football Steve Perryman and representatives of the Devon County FA - which was instrumental in steering the project - were on hand to run the rule over the new surface.
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The facility not only benefits pupils at Axe Valley, but the entire grassroots football community will feel the effects. Local clubs Axminster Town AFC and Millwey Rise have committed to increasing the number of teams provided within their football clubs - with the growth in girls’ participation and youth football being prioritised as a result of the added capacity the new facilities offer.
And among the professional ranks, Exeter City plans to utilise the state-of-the-art facilities to coach their development teams.
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The new pitch is the latest beneficiary of the Premier League and the FA Facilities Fund.
Its completion complements the on-site leisure facilities which include a sports hall, fitness suite, gym, grass football pitches and an adjacent swimming pool.
Community college head Martin Smith said: “The funding we received from The Premier League and The FA Facilities Fund has enabled us to take the provision for sport we offer to another level.
“Our students returned to school to discover this wonderful new facility and couldn’t wait to christen it!
“And it is wonderful that the local community now has such a great facility on its doorstep as part of what must be one of the finest sports and leisure complexes in the local area.”