A NEW recreation field has been officially opened with a special sports day.
Children competed against each other in fencing, boxing, cricket and running at the site on Grangetown recreation field next to Grangetown Primary School and Commercial Road.
Awards were handed out to the best competitors, with a cheerleading display also taking place.
Parents gave the thumbs-up to the field, which has been created after work led by the East Area voluntary and community sector, councillors and the city council’s East Area Committee.
Sonia Gill, 29, from Hendon, mum to Daniel, seven, Jack, four, and Layla, two, said: “It looks all right here now.
“Something like this stops the kids from being bored. They don’t really have anything here for them to go to and play.”
Lisa Podd agreed that the opening of the field was a welcome addition to the area.
Ms Podd, 32, who is mum to Michael, 11, Liam, 10, and Layton, eight, said: “There used to be a lot more around here like youth clubs but there isn’t as much these days. If they can come and play here it gets them out of the house and doing something.”
The field was split into four zones where youth workers, sports clubs and teachers put the children through their paces before competing.
Organisations including Sunderland Rugby Club, Sunderland Harriers, SAFC Foundation, Sunderland Young People’s Bike Project and British Fencing were all represented.
Hendon councillor Michael Mordey said he was pleased to see the space open and being used, particularly with public funding for sport under threat.
“Hopefully all the young people will come and use this,” said Coun Mordey.
“Open spaces like this are going to a lot more important when the cuts happen, because there will be a lot less youth provision in the area. It will be vital.”