A Liverpool art college is enjoying a new state-of-the-art football pitch after being opened by a former Premier League referee and the Everton Ladies captain.
Chris Foy joined Michelle Hinnigan and her first-team coach, Andy Spence, to open St John Bosco Arts College’s new £1m floodlit third-generation (3G) artificial grass pitch (AGP) and changing room pavilion.
A £637,245 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund made it possible to build the 3G AGP and pavilion, which will be used by Everton FC Centre of Excellence and local grassroots clubs, community groups and primary schools.
Through this project, the school worked closely with the Football Foundation and Liverpool FA to establish a five-year Football Development Plan to increase female participation by over 40%.
ETC Sports Surfaces collaborated with long term sports fencing partner Zaun to put in the 3G AGP surrounded by Duo Sports fencing, which will host a new 11v11 mid-week floodlit league throughout the winter months.
Chris Foy said: “Grassroots sport in Liverpool is better off thanks to the investment in this new pitch and changing room. St John Bosco will serve as an important sports hub in its community, with provisions for people of all ages and abilities to play sport just for the pure enjoyment of it.”
Everton Ladies secured a place in the Women’s Super League in 2017-18 just last Friday, when the FA announced them as the preferred bidder to take Notts County, who went out of business.
Captain Michelle Hinnigan, who is also a PE Teacher at St John Bosco, said: “It is essential to have quality facilities at the grassroots level because this not only helps youngsters to maximise their potential but give whole communities a focal point to come and enjoy playing sport with their mates.”