Sports Centre urgent appeal

An appeal has gone out to the Harrogate community to help raise funds to repair a vital asset used every week by more than 1,000 local sports players.

Thursday, 20th May 2021, 2:34 pm

The 3G artificial pitch at Rossett Sports Centre is in such urgent need of resurfacing that it’s estimated it will be unplayable by the winter season.

The pitch, which is more than 10 years old, was due to be re-laid last year but the impact of Covid-19 turned plans on their head. The sports centre has been forced to close for most of the last 12 months and has suffered a substantial shortfall in income.

Now, the centre is appealing to the local community to help raise the final £10,000 needed for the new state-of-the-art pitch which will be accessible to the community for many more years to come.

Rossett Sports Centre manager Josh Lyon said: “We’re now in a pretty desperate position. Our 3G pitch was laid in summer 2010 and has been a huge asset to the community ever since, but it’s coming to the end of its useable life.

“We’ve done some small pitch repairs over the past few years but it’s now in such poor condition that this is no longer an option. In its current state, the pitch will only last a few more months before we have to take it out of commission.”

Run by Rossett School, the sports centre on Pannal Ash Road is open to the public outside of school hours, seven days a week.

Its full-sized 3G pitch provides space for both five-a-side groups and full team matches.

The pitch is used regularly by six senior and eight junior football clubs, including more than 300 boys and girls from Beckwithshaw Saints FC under a community partnership arrangement.

It’s also used by the Harrogate Gateway Disability Group, Harrogate Town Youth Development Programme and 25 recreational groups.

In addition, it is a key asset for Rossett School, with professional football alumni Rachel Daly (England Lionesses and Houston Dash), Liam Kitching (Barnsley FC) and Robbie Gotts (Leeds United on loan at Salford City) all playing on it during their school days.

The PE department use it for five lessons per day, as well as extra-curricular activities and competitive fixtures.

Students and teachers are planning a sponsored walk, if future restrictions allow, and the PE department organising a sponsored event for Sports Day.

Head of PE Kat Fairbairn said: “The 3G pitch is the most essential and important cog in the running of the Sports Studies faculty.

“It provides many opportunities to the students of Rossett School and has meant that we can offer a very diverse and rich curriculum.

“It has also brought us plenty of success, most recently allowing our incredible U14 girls football team to train and progress all the way to the National Cup Final at St George’s Park.”

The proposed project will see the current surface replaced with a Tiger Turf Atomic Pro 3G synthetic turf, an FA-approved surface that meets all football regulations.

Funding has already been received from Rossett Sports Centre, Beckwithshaw Saints FC, a North Yorkshire County Council funding initiative and various community groups and businesses.

Josh added: “The 3G pitch is a thriving facility for both our local community and the school. We are therefore reaching out to individuals and businesses to help us plug the gap in our funding and reach our target, and we’re extremely grateful to everyone who has supported us so far.”

To donate to the appeal, please visit https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/rossett-community-3g-project