'Muddy bog' transformed into state of the art football pitches

Young footballers celebrated the reopening of Tufnell Park playing fields, playing the first official games on renovated pitches after a year long overhaul.

Pitches that used to resemble a muddy bog in winter can now be played on all year round following work by Islington Council and Sport England to completely overhaul the drainage system and levelling the ground.

Nearly £100,000 has been invested in the park. Contributions came from section 106 funds – money the council secured from new housing developments in the borough to improve local facilities – and £34,500 of National Lottery funding from Sport England’s ‘Protecting Playing Fields’ legacy fund.

The fields can now be used for normal eleven-a-side matches by local teams and smaller seven-a-side games where younger players can practice and focus more on improving their technique.

Cllr Janet Burgess, Islington council’s executive member for health and wellbeing said, “Park users have waited a long time for these works to be completed. These comprehensive works will sort out the drainage problems that often left the fields as muddy bogs, so that the next Jack Wilshere or Kieran Gibbs can hone their skills on good quality pitches.”

Sport England Property Director, Charles Johnston, said: “Our Protecting Playing Fields fund is making a real difference to community sports clubs up and down the country by supporting one of the most important resources in sport. By protecting and improving playing fields like Tufnell Park, we’re ensuring people and teams have a place to get active and enjoy sport all year round.”

Alongside the football pitches there are also tennis courts and a cricket net that can be used by residents. Bookings can be made through Islington Tennis Centre on 020 3793 6880. More information can be found on www.better.org.uk.  


Notes to editors:
‘Protecting Playing Fields’ is part of Sport England’s legacy programme to bring the inspiration and magic of a home Olympic and Paralympic Games into communities all over the country. Since its launch in 2011, 399 projects have benefited from a total of £22 million of investment over six rounds, with more than 1,000 pitches protected and improved.

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