Dinnington charity pitch opening
The Trustees of a Dinnington charity have celebrated the first year of the town’s state-of-the-art football pitch which has seen thousands of players take to the field.
The FIFA-approved 3G pitch was installed at Dinnington Resource Centre last summer following grant funding from the Premier League, The FA and Government’s Football Foundation and other funders.
This new all-weather facility replaced the old grass pitch and has enabled thousands more people from the region to don their boots and get active.
Previously only available to two football teams, the pitch is now home to Dinnington Town Football Club’s 21 teams, including its first team and other age group teams from under 5s to over 45s. The club has created five new teams in the last 12 months with a focus on juniors and girls, and an additional 18 other local groups have been able to use the new facilities over the last year, too.
On Wednesday 11 October, the trustees came together with users of the facility and representatives of the funding organisations which made the project possible to celebrate the first 12 months of its use in a formal opening ceremony.
Prior to the ceremonial ribbon cutting a football match took place between sixth form pupils from Dinnington High School and King Edward VII School from Sheffield. The players and coaching staff joined in for the official opening alongside local football legend Tony Currie who had the honour of cutting the ribbon with the chair of Trustees, Jane Havenhand, centre manager Darron Crookes, Dinnington Town FC chairman Andy Marshall and CISWO development manager Rick O’Toole.
The whole project, which included improved floodlighting, spectator stand and fencing, cost around £1 million, with almost half coming from the Football Foundation. Other funds included £100,000 from the FCC Communities Foundation, £100,000 from Valencia Communities Fund and £90,000 from CISWO, the coal mining charity, as well as contributions from Dinnington Town Council, Dinnington Town Football Club and the Bramall Foundation.
As well as providing funding for the project, CISWO provided guidance in a range of land and governance matters to help the regeneration run smoothly.
Darron Crookes, Dinnington Resource Centre Manager, said: “The pitch has been in use almost every day over the past year, with the exception of a few Bank Holidays and a couple of days when the snow refused to melt. This has meant an incredible amount of football has been played, but, more importantly an unbelievable number of people, both young and old have accessed it. We’re very thankful to all our funders for their support in bring our plans to life.”
Nicola Didlock, CISWO Chief Executive, said: “We’re delighted to have been involved in this project and play a part in embedding this recreational facility in Dinnington. It’s fantastic to hear how well it has been used over this first year, and I’m confident that will continue for years to come.”
Robert Sullivan, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “The Football Foundation is working closely with our partners – the Premier League, The FA and Government – to transform the quality of grassroots facilities in England by delivering projects like this across the country.
“Good quality playing facilities have a transformative impact on physical and mental health and play an important role in bringing people together and strengthening local communities.
“We’re delighted that the local community in Dinnington have been able to enjoy all these benefits thanks to the fantastic 3G pitch at Dinnington Resource Centre.”
The pitch can be split up into four different sizes, each available to hire seven days a week, from 9am to 10pm.
Dinnington Resource Centre opened at the beginning of the new millennium and is purpose built to serve the residents of Dinnington and the surrounding areas. On the site of the former Miners’ Institute, its facilities serve the wider community, with space available for celebration, business, childcare, recreation and leisure. For more information, visit www.dinningtonresourcecentre.co.uk
For more information about CISWO and the work it does to support former coalfield communities, click here