OVER 700 young footballers took part in a tournament at the official opening of a new 3G pitch at Great Sankey Hub, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Whittle Hall Junior Football Club.
Founded 20 years ago at the old Sankey Forum, the club had a single team and has now grown to be home to 14 teams and a development group involving over 500 children.
Treasurer Steve Pennington said: “The new 3g pitch is phenomenal, and helps prevent the dreadful backlogs in fixtures when the weather prevents any play on grass. Everyone is a little jealous of the new facilities. I would like to thank LiveWire for a great working relationship.”
The official opening ceremony was attended by representatives of the Premier League and The FA Facilities Fund, whose investment of £302,184 made the development possible.
Their grant enabled the organisation to install a state-of-the-art new all-weather playing surface, as well as new boundary fencing and floodlights at the Great Sankey site. This has replaced a sand-based pitch, which was no longer fit for purpose due to its age.
The new 3G pitch, which can be used all-year round in any weather, will benefit pupils at neighbouring Great Sankey High School as well as a number of local football clubs including: Whittle Hall JFC, Crosfields JFC and Matthiola JFC. With a particular focus on introducing more girls to football, Liverpool County FA expects to see an increase in Under-18 female participation.
Opening the new pitch LiveWire Warrington Managing Director Emma Hutchinson said “I am delighted to welcome people to the opening of the 3g pitch, made possible by the support of Liverpool County FA represented by Paul Dawson. The development is part of a wider multi million pound transformation of the old Great Sankey Leisure centre into a Neighbourhood Hub, a co-location of leisure, library and lifestyle services along with NHS provision.”
“Phase 2 will open later this year and provide fully refurbished swimming pools, changing village, sports hall and luxury spa.”
It is hoped that the new facilities will help develop young people through sport and maybe produce another local World Cup winning legend to go with the legendary Roger Hunt and hopefully our very own Jesse Lingard.