Homewood’s 3G pitch opens
The much-anticipated 3G football pitch at Homewood School and Sixth Form Centre has been officially opened by the Mayor of Tenterden, Cllr Pam Smith, and former Homewood student and footgolf* World No1 player Sophie Brown.
The opening ceremony, which took place under the pitch’s state-of the-art floodlights on Tuesday evening, was attended by representatives from the Tenterden Schools Trust, the town council, Ashford Borough Council, local primary schools, football clubs and the wider community.
The transformation of the former Redgra ground, located at the school’s entrance adjacent to the Fire Station on Ashford Road, started in July and was completed on time, over the recent half term break.
Speaking at the opening ceremony on the pitch Cllr Smith said: “The creation of this pitch represents a major improvement in our community’s sport’s provision. It will also enable us to move forward with plans to transform the town’s recreation ground and allow play throughout the year – winter included.”
Homewood principal and Tenterden Schools Trust CEO Mrs Sally Lees said: “We are delighted to be offering the community use of the new 3G football pitch here at Homewood School & Sixth Form Centre. Interest in playing football, by both boys and girls, seems to be on the rise. In fact, in a recent student PE survey with years 9 &10 here, football came top of the sports which students wanted to see more of in the curriculum so this new pitch will help us to deliver that as well as share this wonderful asset with the wider community.”
After the opening speeches, 22-year old World No1 footgolfer Sophie, whose success in her sport is built on both accuracy and power, kicked the first ball into the new goal. She then helped lead a training skills session with members of local clubs, players from the Year 7/8/9 football team and the school’s sports leaders. This was followed by a match between Homewood Sixth Form and a Year 11 team under the pitch’s new floodlights.
Sophie, who left Homewood in 2015, was a keen footballer from year 7, eventually captaining the U18 squad to the Kent finals. She played for Kent ladies until earlier this year. She started playing Footgolf in 2016 and as of Oct 2018 she is ranked UK number 1 and World number 1. She will be going to the World Cup in Morocco with the UK team in December 2018.
Use of the all-weather pitch is being split between the school and the community after Tenterden Town Council came to a formal agreement with the Tenterden Schools Trust to contribute to the construction using money from the Tent 1A development pot. Additional funding came from the Trust, which runs Homewood, and the government’s healthy pupil capital, which is supported by the sugar tax.
The pitch can be used for single matches or split into smaller pitches. Bookings have already been taken for a number of fixtures in the coming weeks and well into 2019. Any clubs, groups or individuals wanting to hire the pitch should contact the school’s lettings officer, Philippa Dodd or click here
Note: Footgolf is a sport which is growing in popularity. It is played on a golf course using a size 5 football. The object of the game is to kick the ball into the hole in the fewest number of shots.