Chatham Town’s players are looking forward to training at new a state-of-the-art 3G facility which was opened by Sports Minister Tracey Crouch on Friday.
The Chats are among a group of clubs and community groups and organisations set to benefit from the new all-weather centre at Chatham’s Victory Academy after it was officially opened by Football Foundation chief executive Paul Thorogood and Crouch, their local MP for Chatham and Aylesford, pictured.
Thanks to £519,979 of funding from the Premier League and the FA Facilities Fund, Gillingham FC’s advanced academy, Chatham Town, Meridian Girls and Ladies FC, Real 60 FC, FC Borstal, Maidstone United Youth FC and The Medway Youth League will all call the facility home. The school has also partnered up with Pro Soccer to create a football academy for sixth form students at the site.
The Ryman South club’s local MP, who is also a coach at Meridan Girls and Ladies, said afterwards: “All weather pitches like this one at The Victory Academy are absolutely vital. This significant joint investment into state-of-the-art artificial pitches will not just help increase the numbers of people playing the game but will also result in more youngsters gaining coaching and refereeing qualifications.”
Since 2000 the Football Foundation has provided 348 grants to projects across Kent alone, the list including 18 3G artificial grass pitches, 33 changing room pavilions and the development of 56 natural grass pitches.