EARLIER THIS month local residents celebrated as Broad Oak and Horam Junior Football Club staged their annual ‘World Cup’ tournament to put their new football pitches through their paces.
Finally completed and open for community use at the end of April, the £55,000 improvement of the football pitches was tested by over 200 children. Showing off their skills, the enthusiastic youngsters competed for The Bertie Adams Trophy, which was won by Horam’s Brazilian team.
The work improved drainage throughout the grounds, putting an end to the pitches’ previously regular waterlogged state. The project began last September when sections of the pitch were dug up to enable drainage to be installed. The turf was then re-soiled and re-seeded, and the grass given six months to establish.
It took three years to fundraise for the project, with money coming from several organisations including Broad Oak and Horam Junior Football Club, Wealden District Council, Horam Parish Council and The Veolia Environmental Trust who awarded their grant through the Landfill Communities Fund. The project also received a significant funding boost of £20,000 from the Football Foundation. Funded by the Premier League, The FA, and the Government via Sport England, the Football Foundation is the nation’s largest sports charity.
Project manager of the improvements, Steve Smith said: “It was fantastic to see everyone having so much fun at the tournament, they really did put the new pitch through its paces. It still looks good though, and I’m glad the improvements are complete and we now have such a suitable space the whole community can use for a good game of football and a wide range of sporting activities. I am delighted to report that the new drainage installation has coped with the extreme weather conditions experienced over recent weeks and allowed us to keep the pitches in regular use throughout.”
Veolia Environmental Trust director, McNabb Laurie, added: “It’s been a pleasure to support this project. It is clear that the improvements are already benefiting all those that use the grounds.”