We were honoured to be invited to the official opening ceremony of the West Ham Foundation's new all-weather 3G pitch yesterday.
It was really great to see how funding from the Football Foundation (in conjunction with the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund) is being put to use to really deliver a fantastic facility for the foundation, the club and the surrounding community.
In attendance for the opening were West Ham United FC Vice-Chairman Baroness Karen Brady CBE, defender Reece Burke, and West Ham United Foundation Chief Executive, Joseph Lyons.
The new state-of-the-art facility is projected to increase overall sports participation by 78% and will see 17 new teams created. It will be home to players from pre-school age through to the veterans of the walking football team whose oldest player is 84-years-old. Teams based there will include West Ham Ladies FC, Canning Town FC, Royal Falcons FC and the West Ham Learning Foundation.
Karren Brady CBE, West Ham United FC Vice-Chairman, said: “This is what football is all about, seeing players of all different ages and backgrounds enjoy themselves purely for the love of playing the sport. This new all-weather pitch will make a tremendous difference, helping youngsters across Beckton and beyond to adopt football as a real passion; a platform to make positive life choices and engage among the local community.
“These grassroots facilities are so vital in helping achieve this, providing safe and accessible sporting venues for people to stay healthy and enjoy their football. I’m delighted that the facility is now up and running thanks to our partnership with the Premier League and the generous financial support of the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund.”
We will be visiting more sports foundations over the coming year to show the great work that is being facilitated by professional clubs in the community to make sport accessible, encourage participation and change people's lives.