New facility set to boost grassroots sport in Watford
Players at Everett Rovers FC are set to benefit from a new Football Foundation funded changing pavilion which was opened recently at Leggatts Playing Fields in Watford by Richard Harrington MP
Two players from nearby Watford FC were also on hand to open the new facility, which was made possible thanks to investment from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which is delivered by the Football Foundation.
The grant has enabled Everett Rovers FC to build a new clubhouse which includes two team changing rooms, a clubroom, kitchen, servery, storage area and toilets. The new facilities will replace three ageing steel containers which were previously being used as changing rooms and equipment storage.
This investment will enable the club to develop its membership and provide an improved matchday experience for anyone playing at the site.
The club’s Leggatts Playing Field site has three existing full-size grass pitches, one 9v9 pitch and three mini-soccer pitches. Although Everett Rovers have their own ground, players haven’t had access to any facilities for the last 10 years.
Everett Rovers FC is a FA Chartered Standard Development Club and currently provides opportunities to over 20 teams, ranging from Under-7’s through to Under-18’s, youth and adult disability teams.The club’s inclusive teams were set up three years ago and they now have nearly 60 players in these teams, making them one of the largest inclusive clubs in Hertfordshire.
Everett Rovers FC were awarded a £379,385 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund towards the project. The club worked alongside the Football Foundation and the Hertfordshire 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.
It is predicted that the new changing pavilion will result in an increase of over 200 players at the club, which will be supported by the formation of 15 new teams across all age groups during the next five years.
Since 2000, the Football Foundation Funding Partners’ investment has provided 219 grants worth £10.9m towards grassroots sports projects worth over £19.5m across the whole of Hertfordshire FA.
"A long time coming"
Hertfordshire FA Joint Acting CEO and County Development Manager Karl Lingham said: "We are delighted to see the opening of another top class football facility in Hertfordshire that will help increase opportunities for young players to take up the game.
Despite having some good quality grass pitches, this site was being held back by a lack of dedicated facilities. This brand new pavilion helps make Leggatts Playing Fields a real hub for grassroots football in the community and provides the club a platform to continue its growth and deliver a significant increase in participation.”
Glenn Peach, Chairman of Everett Rovers, said: “The clubhouse has been a long time coming and we would like to thank the Football Foundation and all the other funders and businesses that have supported us. Everett Rovers have continued to grow over the last few years and we feel that the clubhouse will take us to the next level and allow us to support even more local children.”
Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “Grassroots sport plays an important role in communities across the UK, creating opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds. That is why I am delighted that Everett Rovers FC has now opened their new clubhouse in Watford, thanks to investment from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund.
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