A junior football club will finally have a pitch they can call home after they received a major award in partnership with a Harrogate school.
Beckwithshaw Saints Junior Football Club (BSJFC) and Rossett High School have been awarded £65,000 from the national organisation, Sports England, to improve the school playing fields.
We want everyone to know there is a new community sport facility where people of all ages will have access.Co-Chair of BSJFC, Joan Maclean Burley
The money will go towards fitting a drainage system to stop the waterlogging problem which has meant the fields were unplayable.
Co-Chair of BSJFC, Joan Maclean Burley said: “It is absolutely brilliant for everybody, everyone is struggling for space to play, so it benefits the whole community. We want everyone to know there is a new community sport facility where people of all ages will have access.”
The school and club were told earlier this month that they would receive the grant.
A spokesperson for Rossett School said: “We’re really pleased to help the club find a permanent home. We’re very proud to be part of the local community.”
In past years the club has been forced to play at different grounds all over Harrogate because their own grounds couldn’t accommodate their 360 football players.
BSJFC began working with Rossett High School to establish somewhere to play that wouldn’t just host the club but would benefit everyone in the school and wider community.
The grant comes after the two groups started making applications to Sports England for financial help with the pitch improvements.
Steve Dorey, Football Development Officer at West Riding County Football Association said: “We support the club in a number of ways. We are really pleased that they have got this and it will have such a positive impact on the club.”
Work on the pitch is hoped to be finished by September this year, in time for the start of the football season and the beginning of the academic school year.
The facility will provide two 11-a side, two 9-a side and two 7-a side football pitches as well as providing an arena for all other field sports.
Whilst the school will use the fields during the week, Beckwithshaw Saints JFC will hold all their matches on the pitch at weekends.
However they intend to maintain a presence at their home ground in Beckwithshaw, so as not to forget their roots and history.
In the slots where neither club nor school are using the space they hope that other teams, clubs and sports from the community, will be able to use the new fields.
The BSJFC want to use the opportunity of expanding their home grounds to welcome diversity into football, by creating another all-girls football team and a team for children with special needs.