Football legend Sir Trevor Brooking CBE has shown his support for grassroots sport at the official opening this week (23 Sept) of Sporting Club Thamesmead, which has been developed by Trust Thamesmead.
The new multi-million pound facility boasts an outstanding new pavilion, a floodlit third generation artificial grass pitch (ATP), grass pitches and a multi-use games area (MUGA). It has been built thanks to funding through the Football Foundation, the country's largest sports charity, and other contributors including the London Marathon Charitable Trust, as well as funds from the Trust's own resources.
Sporting Club Thamesmead will allow Trust Thamesmead to achieve its ambition of providing first class sports and leisure facilities at grassroots level in an area that has previously significantly lacked in community facilities, particularly sports and fitness facilities, and seen under-investment for many years.
The new, accessible and iconic pavilion boasts numerous changing facilities, indoor activity rooms, and office and social facilities which are open to all residents of Thamesmead and the surrounding areas.
The pavilion and the layout of the outdoor facilities have been designed to reinforce the open nature of the site and minimise the impact of the built form on the land.
The design philosophy is that wherever possible the building should ‘touch this earth lightly'; creating minimal impact and allowing the building to be appreciated as part of ad not simply placed on the land.
Sir Trevor Brooking said: “I am so pleased to be opening such a fantastic facility. Projects such this one in Thamesmead, are so important for the local community. They help increase participation in our national game by allowing more people to play, purely for the love of it. They are also critical to supporting The FA's agenda for developing more home-grown talent.
“The funding provided by the Premier League, The FA, and the Government, through the Football Foundation, is making a real difference, with stunning new facilities, such as this one, springing up right across the country. I congratulate everyone involved, including the London FA, for their work in making this happen.”
Vic Grimes, Trust Thamesmead's lead trustee for the project, commented: “I'm very pleased to see the completion of this project which will provide a step change in sports provision in Thamesmead.
“None of this would've been possible without the solid support we have received from Bexley Council's Members and Officers during the planning and construction stages. This coupled with the fantastic response from the Football Foundation and our other funders mean that Thamesmead will at last have the quality facility it has been sorely lacking for so long.”
Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, added: “This is an outstanding new facility, which will benefit football and other sports in and around Thamesmead. Developing new grassroots facilities, such as this, is essential to increasing the number of people who have a chance to stay fit and healthy through participating in sport.
“The Football Foundation is dedicated to improving sports sites across the country with investment from our funding partners - the Premier League, The FA, and the Government (via Sport England). I congratulate Trust Thamesmead and the London FA for their hard work on this project.”
To gain funding for the pavilion, Trust Thamesmead worked in partnership with the London FA to secure a £769,112 grant from the Football Foundation which is funded by the Premier League, The FA and the Government (via Sport England).
Additional funding for the club's new floodlit, 3G AGP and top-of-the-range floodlit MUGA came from the Football Stadia Improvement Fund (FSIF), in the shape of a £75,000 grant, in order to create a much safer environment for players throughout the year.
The project has also received £200,000 funding from The FA, as part of their capital allocation within the Whole Sport Plan agreed with Sport England. This is awarded to support the sustainability of community clubs and create more opportunities to participate in sport within a high quality environment.
Currently the FA's Head of Football Development, Sir Trevor Brooking CBE began his professional career for West Ham United in 1966 and remained there until retiring in 1984. During this time, he made 635 appearances, scored 102 goals and won The FA Cup with the club on two occasions. During his international career he played 47 times for England, scoring five goals. More recently, he is been particularly well known for his match commentating and summarising for the BBC.