A new all-weather sports pitch in the Rhondda is making a 'massive difference' to the health and social lives of hundreds of youngsters, a local club has said.
The new 3G pitch, an upgrade to Pentre's old astroturf , was installed in time for the winter season, and the modern facilities have shown the red card to the frustration of matches being called off at the last minute due to the weather. Ton and Gelli Boys and Girls Club previously trained on the old astroturf, and secretary Andy Jones has hailed the impact the 3G has had on budding footballers in the area.
The astroturf in Pentre - which has now being upgraded to 3G
'It no longer matters about frozen or flooded grounds'
He said: "The new 3G is absolutely fabulous and we are able to not only train in all weathers, but also ensure the kids get a chance to play matches at the weekend as well."It no longer matters about frozen or flooded grounds thanks to the new facilities.
"Nearly 200 children a week from across the valley are enjoying playing in the leagues and it is making a massive difference to their health and wellbeing and giving them the chance to spend their social time in a positive way.
"We were consulted on the plans by the council and a 3G was definitely our preferred option.
"As long-standing users of the astroturf, we were so impressed by the way the council helped us find alternative venues to train and play while we awaited the completion of the 3G – and also the fact we were offered first choice of our bookings for the 3G, so we could continue doing what we do."
3G sports pitches are designed for use in all weather
The new facility has recently hosted the RCT Schools Football League, which involves young players from 117 primary schools and 17 secondary schools across the county borough.
Ann Crimmings, RCT cabinet member for environment, leisure and culture, said: "Outdoor leisure facilities and specifically 3G pitches were identified as an area that would benefit from council investment following consultation with local clubs and players about the facilities they need to continue participating in league and recreational sport in the area.
"It was a proud moment for me to see the facility completed and already in use with young people, who have been identified by their schools as showing a talent for football, from across the county borough enjoying this sports facility.
"Hundreds of children and adults alike continue to enjoy the ‘beautiful game’ in all weathers and at all times thanks to this modern 3G."
Pentre 3G, which was funded by the council's RCTinvest scheme, is available to be booked by any organizations.