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1st Jul, 2022

Investment at Droitwich Leisure Centre brigs a timely boost to women's football

Correspondent 22nd Jun, 2022

The first £39 million from a government investment of £230 million into grass roots sport was allocated out last month. And Droitwich will be one of the key beneficiaries, with £450,000 going towards a new 3G pitch at Droitwich Leisure Centre.

The development has been under discussion since 2016 and received council approval in 2020. The stumbling block has always been funding. Various crowdfunding initiatives have been attempted over the past couple of years for both the replacement pitch and a number of other improvements. The government grant should provide the shot in the arm that the project needs to get off the ground.

Boosting women’s football 

It is anticipated that the funding will help to encourage greater participation in the sport among those who are typically under-represented, especially women and girls. Droitwich has a strong tradition of inclusivity in football, with women’s teams in all age groups in the local leagues. But it can be a challenge to field full teams week in and week out.

The timing of this initiative could not have come at a better time. Next month, Leah Williamson will be leading England Women in Euro 2022, and the nation will be getting fully behind its women players. Yes, this will mean stocking up on snacks and following their progress on TV, and it might also mean placing a couple of pounds on them at the bookmaker – if you’ve never tried it before, this odds calculator for betting will get you off to a flying start! But it also means getting inspired and going out there to try it for yourself. There will be no excuse not to do so with the new infrastructure that will soon be coming to Droitwich.

New 3G surface and improved facilities 

3G stands for third generation, but for once it has nothing to do with getting a better mobile signal. Instead, it means third generation synthetic grass. 3G is one of several grades of artificial grass and is designed specifically for surfaces where football and rugby are played. The plan is to install a new 3G pitch to replace the existing grass pitch at the King George Playing Fields in the Briar Mill part of town. This has been dogged by flooding and other issues in recent years. There are also plans to add a second 3G pitch for mini football, youth football and training pitches on an adjacent plot.

This is part of a larger scale project to extend and refurbish the existing pavilion with new changing rooms for men and women, to install turnstiles and floodlights and ultimately to construct a new 50 to 100 capacity stand.

With more homes being built in the area, it will go some way to addressing a shortage of facilities for Droitwich residents. It will also serve to bring the ground up to FA standards ready for a bright future for both the men’s and women’s game in Droitwich.

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