School unveils ‘incredibly popular’ brand new 3G football pitch in Ipswich
- Credit: Charlotte Bond
This is the state-of-the-art new 3G all-weather sports pitch at Copleston High School - which teachers hope will help bring about a surge in grassroots sport in Ipswich.
The Gippeswyk Community Educational Trust school won a £409,665 grant from the Premier League, Football Association (FA) and the government’s Football Foundation earlier this year to revamp its previous sand-dressed hockey pitch, which was often prone to waterlogging.
The newly-revamped, fully floodlit 11-a-side size pitch will now not only benefit students and the school’s own team, Coplestonians FC, but be available for others to use - ensuring the new facility is truly at the heart of the community.
David King, sports centre manager at Copleston High School, said: “The motivation was to develop a high-quality, grassroots space.
“We were finding the previous surface was out of date and we wanted to kick a project off that improved facilities.
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“This is a state-of-the-art facility that is truly second to none. It’s the sort of surface Ipswich Town will train on.”
The new pitch seems to have had an immediate impact, with the facility fully booked in the weeks ahead after only opening this month.
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Mr King believes facilities like the 3G pitch at Copleston are crucial to improving health and wellbeing in wider society.
“We’ve got to start everyone off with grassroots sport as soon as possible and build up good habits early on,” he said.
“Playing football is great exercise - when you’re playing, you don’t even realise that you’re doing a good thing for yourself.
“This is an opportunity to tackle inactivity and bring the community together.”
He also believes the sports activities being held at the facility are an important part of the recovery from the coronavirus crisis, by ensuring people are living active and healthy lives.
Copleston High School principal Andy Green said: “From my perspective, it is a wonderful facility for students at Copleston and people outside of Copleston.
“Covid restrictions allowing, it is going to enable far higher quality sport and better training sessions.”
The Football Foundation said it had awarded Copleston the money “because we want to encourage more people to get involved in our nation’s favourite game, regardless of their background, age or ability”.