Sir Alex Ferguson has backed the drive to get more people of all ages involved in sport.
The Manchester United manager was speaking at Broadoak School, in Trafford, Manchester, where he opened a £2m community sports centre.
Sport England and the Football Foundation have invested over £1m in the state-of-the-art facilities, which will benefit both pupils and local people.
Sir Alex said: I am delighted to see these first class sports facilities open on the doorstep of Old Trafford, especially as they are in an area of high deprivation which desperately needs sports provision."
Sport has the power to lift people. Everyone was captivated by the success of the GB team in China at the Olympics. Investment in sport is more important than ever. We need to inspire more people to get involved.
The Partington Sports Village at Broadoak School will now be an important hub for the community, where a range of sports can take place.
"I want to congratulate the school on making this happen, alongside the other key partners, including the Football Foundation, the Manchester County FA and Sport England."
The new facilities include:
- a new full-sized third generation artificial grass pitch with floodlights and fencing
- a redeveloped 70m x 30m multi-use games area
- upgraded grass pitches with better drainage
- a new pavilion with four teams changing rooms, two officials changing rooms, an ICT sports suite as well as meeting rooms and offices.
As part of the application, the school produced a football development plan in partnership with the Manchester County FA. This will support regeneration within Partington and will help tackle many of the issues in the area, including: the development of local football clubs; social exclusion; and women and girls' development.
These activities will be implemented with the help of an on-site Football Development Officer and a Social Inclusion Co-ordinator. The Manchester United Foundation is also supporting the project by providing coaching for the children.
Tarun Kapur, Executive Headteacher of Broadoak School, said: â€œThis is a massive step forward for the community of Partington. We are proud to be able to provide world class facilities not only for the local people but for the whole of Trafford.
We are also delighted that Sir Alex is able to open the facility as it will mean so much to the local people. We would like to thank all those who supported and funded the project.
Over the next four years, Sport England will be working with our partners to get one million people doing more sport.
For more information on Sport England visit www.sportengland.org.
Words courtesy of Sport England. Image courtesy of the Football Foundation.