Saturday 21st October 2017
Burnley FC defender Ben Mee was recently on hand to unveil a stunning all-weather pitch at Saints John Fisher and Thomas More Roman Catholic High School in Pendle, Lancashire.
The new community sports hub, funded by a £538,160 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund and a £100,000 grant from the Lancashire County Council, will create 22 new football teams in the local area. This is set to facilitate a 89% rise in local football participation for the 14-25 age group, something which impressed the Burnley man:
“This is a fantastic new facility for Lancashire. You could see straight away the benefit that the pitch is going to have – loads of youngsters just enjoying playing football with their mates.”
Mee, who has been an integral part of Burnley’s strong start to the season, took the time to sign autographs and take photos with many of the lucky students. He was excited by what the pitch would mean for the development of local youngsters: “I remember when I was that age and it’s an important time to practice your skills. That is made a lot easier if you have a quality facility on your doorstep, not a muddy field that gets waterlogged or isn’t floodlit through the winter.”
The defender’s visit marked only the start of Burnley’s involvement at the site, as the club’s Clarets Foundation will run a selection of programmes on the new pitch. Girls’ sessions will be held by Burnley coaches on a weekly basis – reflecting the club’s commitment to improve the provision of the female game locally – alongside regular sessions for young players as part of the Premier League Kicks initiative.