Date: 14th October 2016 at 2:47pm
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This month, two-time Olympic gold medallist, Victoria Pendleton CBE, returned to her former school, Etonbury Academy, to open their new £2.5m sports hub, which received a £241,908 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund.

The brand new Pendleton Sports Centre, aptly named after the former cyclist-turned-jockey, will not only serve the school, but also act as a leisure centre for the local area, providing the community with a hub for sporting activity.

Victoria addressed the Etonbury students, lending advice and wise words to the youngsters, demonstrating what can be achieved if you go the extra furlong!

The official opening of BEMAT 'Pendleton Centre' and third generation (3G) artificial grass pitch (AGP) by Victoria Pendleton CBE and Alistair Burt MP. Picture by Alan Stanford/Stella Pictures Ltd +44 7915 056117 23/09/2016

Photo: Alan Stanford / Stella Pictures

Having excelled at the pinnacle of sport, Victoria knew exactly how important facilities like this are, “Having access to excellent facilities, just like this one, was a fundamental reason why I was able to achieve what I did.

“So, I understand the immense value that this facility will have and it makes it all the more special that it happens to be at my former school.”

Included in the new complex is a brand new state-of-the-art floodlit third generation (3G) artificial grass pitch (AGP) will be used by a number of local grassroots football teams, including: Stotfold Juniors FC, Shefford Saints FC and Arlesey Town Youth FC.

The new pitch is accompanied by a sports hall comprising; four indoor sports courts, two team changing rooms, a fitness suite, car park, office space and spectator toilets.

Later in the month, Norwich City defender Ryan Bennett was joined by his team-mate John Ruddy and Millwall Lionesses player, Sarah Quantrill, to officially open Flegg High School’s new 3G pitch, thanks to a £405,446 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund.

The site, which is known as theFDC@Flegg, will provide the local community with a high quality facility to use and become what is now Norfolk FA’s third Football Development Centre and their first rural facility in the county.

Bennett, who was once a pupil at Flegg, said, “The facilities here are first-class, allowing the kids to train and play matches on a day-to-day basis.

“I remember having some great matches here but we certainly never had this standard of playing surface!”

October also saw a number of high-profile names join us to open a selection of brand new facilities right across the country.

The official opening of BEMAT 'Pendleton Centre' and third generation (3G) artificial grass pitch (AGP) by Victoria Pendleton CBE and Alistair Burt MP. Picture by Alan Stanford/Stella Pictures Ltd +44 7915 056117 23/09/2016

Photo: Alan Stanford / Stella Pictures

Olympic legend, Sir Steve Redgrave, opened a new £1m boathouse in East London, FA cup-winning Southampton Manager, Lawrie McMenemy MBE, unveiled a £532,000 changing pavilion and former Premier League referee Chris Foy opened a £1m football hub in Liverpool to round up the month.

The Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund is funded by the Premier League, The FA, and the Government, via Sport England. Since it was launched in 2000, the Foundation has awarded around 14,000 grants worth more than £560m towards improving grassroots sport, which it has used to attract additional partnership funding of over £780m – over £1.3bn of investment into grassroots.

You can real the full stories here.

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