SPORTS-LOVING youngsters have netted themselves a new state-of-the-art facility.
SAFC legend Kevin Ball visited Castle View Enterprise Academy to open the £500,000 3G pitch.
The football field has been created thanks to a 54 per cent grant from the Premier League and The FA Facilities Fund.
For use by both the pupils and the North Sunderland community, the new 3G facility will not only help develop the skills of talented footballers, but increase participation from grassroots through to senior level.
Ball said: “This facility is fabulous and it really enhances the school.
“The fact it is open to pretty much everybody and that such a broad range of age ranges will be able to use it is fantastic.”
Janet Bridges, principal at the Cartwright Road school, said: “We are thrilled to be able to offer our world-class facility to our students and the wider community.
“The pitch is outstanding, and we are very excited to see The Football Academy at Castle View Enterprise Academy develop into a major hub for football development and coaching in the North East.”
Football Foundation chief executive Paul Thorogood added: “First-class facilities like this are crucial to creating more opportunities for local people to enjoy regular sport.
“Aided by Durham County FA, Castle View Enterprise Academy deserves huge credit for taking a vision and turning it into a reality.
“Sport has the power to make a positive impact on the health of communities, and this wonderful new facility will improve the sporting experience of local people and encourage them to be more active.”
The new facility comprises a full-sized, 11-a-side, 3G pitch, which can be split into three playing areas suitable for small sided games and training sessions.
There are also new male and female changing facilities as well as onsite parking.
Since it was launched in 2000, the Football Foundation has awarded about 13,000 grants worth more than £500million towards improving sport for regular players as well as attracting new participants.