Washington Athletic YFC celebrates 10 years of bringing football to the community after moving into new Northern Playing Fields facilities
A football club is celebrating 10 years of bringing the game to the community – and is looking forward to its biggest year yet.
Washington Athletic YFC marks its 10th anniversary of providing football opportunities to children after moving into impressive new facilities.
The club was founded in 2010 and the past decade has seen it grow from just one squad to having 23 teams ranging from under sevens to under-16s.
Club secretary Terry Rutherford said moving into the new multi-million Northern Playing Fields facilities has given Washington Athletic YFC an even better opportunity to get young and older children involved.
He said: “The club was set up for local kids to play football whatever their ability. The move to the Washington hub was hectic but it’s brought everybody and all the teams together.”
As well as helping youngsters get into football, Washington Athletic YFC are also a registered charity and are organising a number of fundraising events throughout the year to help celebrate their 10th year and encourage the community to get involved.
Terry has been involved with the club since its beginning, and as a founding member has experienced a lot of ups and downs on the pitch – but is amazed by how rewarding he finds being involved with the club.
He added: “We’ve created something from nothing. We struggled for a while but it’s just seemed to take off and now we probably average two new teams a year.”
In the next 10 years, the club is hoping to continue its growth, expand further into the community and add a women’s team to its ranks.
A total of £18million has been spent creating new football facilities in Washington, Downhill and Ford Quarry.
Sunderland City Council contributed around £3.6million, with the rest coming from the Premier League, the FA and Sport England.
Four new artificial floodlit football pitches were created at the Washington site, one of which can be used for rugby, with another three each at the other two sites.
Washington has also benefited from extensive new changing facilities, a social club and 326 parking spaces. Work on all three sites is due for completion by the end of 2019.