James Beattie, former Southampton FC and England striker, is visiting The Blandford School’s 3G pitch on Thursday 18 June as part of the Football Foundation’s 15-year Anniversary celebrations. A keen supporter of grassroots game, James has seen first-hand through the course of his career the importance of high-quality facilities and so is joining the Football Foundation as an Ambassador. This will be his first engagement in that role.
In 2014, the school received a £350,000 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which is delivered by the Football Foundation, in order to develop a 106m x 70m, floodlit, third generation (3G) artificial grass pitch (AGP). Every week more than 1,000 footballers use the pitch, which ensures that pupils at the school and sportspeople from the wider community can enjoy football in a state-of-the-art environment.
Founded in 2000 the Football Foundation is the largest sports charity in the UK funded by the Premier League, The FA and Government, via Sport England. It funds the development of new and refurbished grassroots sports facilities in order to improve the quality and experience of playing sport at the grassroots level. Since it was launched in 2000, the Foundation has awarded around 13,000 grants worth more than £524m towards improving grassroots sport, which it has used to attract additional partnership funding of over £730m – over £1.3bn of investment into the grassroots game.