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Pitch is winning choice

PUBLISHED: 15:41 05 February 2009 | UPDATED: 12:57 03 July 2010

Adrian Simm

Adrian Simm

SPORT in the area has received a big boost with the opening of a state of the art all weather pitch.

The pitch, at Gorleston's Lynn Grove High School, is providing a top notch facility for students, youth football clubs and the community.

SPORT in the area has received a big boost with the opening of a state of the art all weather pitch.

The pitch, at Gorleston's Lynn Grove High School, is providing a top notch facility for students, youth football clubs and the community.

Recreating the feel of grass without the bobbles and divots the floodlit pitch can be used whatever the elements and after dark.

It means players do not have to risk injury playing on frozen or uneven surfaces or end the match caked in mud.

The £360,000 full sized pitch was part funded by a grant from the Football Foundation and opened in December.

A football development officer, Adrian Simm, has also been appointed to manage the facility and lead coaching sessions.

Bill Johnston head of PE at Lynn Grove said: “This is a great facility, the only one in the Yarmouth area and wonderful to have access to.

“As well as lessons it is used at lunchtime and after school, every night there are between 30 and 50 youngsters out there. The government has a target of providing five hours of physical activity every week and having the all weather pitch is helping us meet that.

“When I first came here 15 years ago the school just had a small gym and then later a sports hall.

“The pitch will help us develop PE as a subject and aid in the delivery of the examination.”

Students have also given the thumbs up to the new pitch, which is used for sports including tag rugby netball and hockey as well as football.

Jamie Burrell said: “It is better than normal grass and you don't slip over so much. We could not play so much football previously because the playing field would get water logged.

Jamie's friend Aaron Orr was also full of praise for the pitch. He said: “It's really good - we never used to be able to play some sports like hockey and can use it at lunchtime too.”

Many of the area's youth football clubs use the pitch and from last month provided a venue for the Norfolk County FA five a side league.

Plans are also being made with Football in the Community to set up an Aviva Ability Counts centre for young disabled players at the school.

Before taking up what he describes as a dream job last September, Mr Simm was a vehicle mechanic in the army for 22 years.

He said: “I'm enjoying it incredibly being able to promote a sport that I have really enjoyed since childhood.

“Having the pitch is the result of three years hard work by the school and Norfolk FA and it's great for Lynn Grove, its feeder schools and football in this area.”

The pitch is available to the public for football sessions after 5.30pm. For more information call Adrian Simm on 01493 660623.

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