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New all-weather pitch opens in Plymouth to boost grassroots sport

A state-of-the-art third generation (3G) artificial grass pitch was officially opened by Plympton Academy on Saturday 28th April. Their new facility was made possible thanks to investment from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which is delivered by the Football Foundation. 

The grant enabled Plympton Academy to install a new 3G. In addition, the Academy’s existing sports facilities have been reconfigured so that the site now boasts one full-size and one junior grass football pitch, alongside the new all-weather playing surface.  

Devon FA will be running a number of events at Plympton Academy from now, at the bottom of this story you’ll find a full weekly agenda of what leagues, JustPlay or activities you can join.

On Saturday 28th April, a free coaching session was delivered by Argyle Community Trust, a DJM under 13 Girls fixture between our two partner clubs AFC Plympton and Chaddlewood and also an under 7/8 tournament for partner clubs.

A range of activities will include; JustPlay, Walking Football, Kids Coaching, Devon567 league and an adult 8v8 summer league.

The new pitch has increased the capacity and flexibility of the Academy’s facilities thanks to it being usable under floodlights during the evening, as well as in harsh weather conditions that can render grass pitches unplayable. This will not only benefit the school’s pupils, but also players from partner clubs AFC Plympton and Chaddlewood Miners FC. 

Plymouth Argyle FC Community Trust will also use the site to deliver community outreach programmes in the form of weekly training sessions for their youth sides and school holiday football camps for local children. The club had previously struggled to deliver such sessions due to the lack of appropriate local facilities, but now uses two Foundation-funded sites in the area. 

Plympton Academy were awarded a £397,013 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund towards the project. The Academy and its partner clubs worked alongside the Football Foundation and the Devon FA to compile a five-year Football Development Plan, which is a vision of how sport will be played on site with an emphasis on increasing participation.

In addition to the funding from the Football Foundation both AFC Plympton and Chaddlewood Miners raised £5,000 through their Crowdfunder campaign. This was matched by Plymouth City Council which showed the local support and need for this new facility.

Teresa Lakeman, Business Director, Plympton Academy, said: “We would like to thank Plymouth City and local ward Councillor Patrick Nicholson, Deputy Council Leader and local Councillor, David James, for joining us to officially open our fabulous new facility but also our partner Clubs for joining us to celebrate the opening though showcasing the use they are making already of the pitch.  

“Our students and the local community will enjoy many years of use thanks to the generous support of the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund.  

“This new facility represents a considerable improvement in grassroots sport for Plympton and the academy will continue to work with the local community to maximise access to our facilities.”

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