In the words of a well-used football song … “We’re on our way, on our way…”
The community of Staveley is set to benefit from fresh investment into local football facilities at Staveley Miners Welfare Football Club with grants awarded rom the Premier League, The FA and Government’s Football Foundation, to install a state-of-the-art floodlit third generation (3G) artificial grass pitch (AGP), with new pitch-side fencing and walkway.
The Football Foundation is the UK’s largest sports charity and exists to improve the experience of playing football for everyone, by championing fair access to quality facilities.
This grant will enable the club to give their current group of 24 teams – which range from Step 5 in the Northern Counties League, all the way down to Under-6s – the opportunity to enhance their footballing skills and better their health and well-being by using the new 3G surface.
As a result, the club – nicknamed the Trojans – now aims to get more than 500 children playing regular football in Staveley.
Both the club and its landlords, Staveley Miners Welfare, have worked with the Football Foundation and the County FA to secure significant funding towards this project. Other grant applications were made and secured and the club have made arrangements to fund the remaining balance.
Whilst the club cannot expect any of our supporters, players, managers, volunteers to continue to fundraise at this time, the club has made arrangements for funding the residual. It is hoped that subsequently fundraising can be back on track and events arranged to assist the club given the obvious financial pressures all businesses are currently under.
Terry Damms, Staveley Miners Welfare FC Chairman, said: “We have set about our aims and objectives of getting a sustainable football model in place that will secure the future of community football in Staveley. To see our Junior Section using this facility on their doorstep, in an environment that lends itself to our community driven ethos, is a dream come true. It will bring in brothers and sisters, parents and grandparents alike, all together as a community.
“Football makes a huge difference to the players, coaches/teachers, and community here. We see first-hand the impact on players’ confidence, physical health, and mental focus. To receive this funding from the Premier League, The FA and the Government through the Football Foundation means a lot to us, as it will help us to improve grassroots sport in the area and get even more people involved in the nation’s favourite game.”
Paul Weatherall, Staveley Miners Welfare Juniors FC Chairman, went on to say: “With SMWFC housing over 20 junior teams, the biggest challenge has always been accommodating the teams with pitches and grounds to train. As it currently stands, we have 4 locations throughout the Staveley area. With the new 3G based in our own ground we will be able to benefit all teams, keep them within the same area bringing the SMWFC family closer together.
“At the same time this now gives us more room to grow, benefitting more children and in particular grow the Girls Section. Grassroots football is such a huge influence within this community; this news will bring joy to the area giving it a clear future progression and growth. A big thank you to the Premier League, The FA and Government’s Football Foundation and Terry for all that they have done for this club. I, for one, cannot wait to get started ready for the new season.”
Terry Damms added: “We are determined to see this project as a leading light for the grant providers to be able to reference back to, and with the faith they have shown in us we will repay the same with interest. The Football Foundation have enhanced our club and strengthened our foundations from which we can now develop further.
“We can now increase our attempts to develop Phase Two with further grants, as we hope in the very near future to announce plans to completely modernise the 90-vehicle car park to provide safe and adequate pedestrian access and egress, with safe parking with floodlighting and CCTV for added security. We have grand plans for a Phase Three. If we succeed with that then we will have without doubt achieved something exceptional for a the community of Staveley. So yes, it seems the Trojans are very much “on our way, on our way….’”