Students from the University of Suffolk played their first league game on a new all-weather 3G pitch which has opened as part of its new range of sports provision.

A partnership between the University of Suffolk and leading youth charity, Inspire, has delivered new sports facilities including a 3G pitch, two grass pitches and floodlights at Inspire Ipswich's site on Lindbergh Road.

The partnership aims to increase access to high-quality sport pitches, improve participation for both students at the university and the wider community and support overall health and wellbeing in the town.

The men’s BUCS (British Universities & Colleges Sport) football team were the first to use the pitch since its completion at the start of the year, and in the first game on the new home ground, took on Queen Mary (Barts), winning 2-1.

Tim Greenacre, University of Suffolk's chief operating officer, said: “The first game on the new pitch is a real milestone for the university and our commitment to providing high quality sports facilities for our students.

“Our partnership with Inspire has not only delivered BUCS standard pitches but is also realising our long-term vision for improving sport and wellbeing facilities at the university, as well as supporting the needs of clubs and groups in local community.”

The 3G pitch will be available to book by community groups from February while the two grass pitches, which are still being cultivated, will be ready for use until later in the year.

Terry Baxter, CEO of Inspire, said: “We believe that sports and physical activity play a pivotal role in enhancing health and wellbeing. We are excited for this partnership to bring the local community closer together and to support young people’s health and wellbeing.”

In addition to the new sports pitches, the university will also open a new gym at the University’s Ipswich campus in the coming months.