The brand-new Football Foundation site at Elsea Park has recently opened its doors with grassroots football and the local community are already reaping the benefits.
The artificial grass pitch is owned and operated by Elsea Park Community Trust for the benefit of residents of Elsea Park, Bourne and the wider community. The state-of-the-art facility also includes a pavilion with changing rooms, toilets, kitchen, and club room. A variety of footballing activities are already on-site including youth & adult male, female, disability and walking football, ensuring an array of offers are available & locally accessible to play the beautiful game.
One of the more recent additions to the site is a local small sided football league called ‘Linx5s - EPB’, which is organised by a local resident, Wayne Porter. Wayne had been running the league successfully at another local site, but when the opportunity became available to move onto Elsea Park which was facilitated by Greg Handsley (Elsea Park Football Development Officer), he couldn’t turn it down.
Wayne Porter, League Organiser, said: “It's a fantastic opportunity to take part in the 5-a-side football league courtesy of Elsea Park AGP and Lincolnshire FA. This league is run with a terrific atmosphere and great facilities including one of the most modern-day playing surfaces. Let’s keep up the good work!”
The established league boasts a very healthy 13 teams, with six fixtures taking place each Tuesday evening between 7-9pm, engaging just shy of 100 players per night.
Matthew Bills, a player for Crouch Spuds, said: “The facility is right on our doorstep, which makes it nice and easy to have a really enjoyable time with your mates, and keep yourself fit too! It’s great.”
The league and its playing rules have been sanctioned by the County FA, with further areas of development identified already to support the player-centred approach taken by the league.
Jake Park, Lincolnshire FA Football Development Officer, added: “It’s a perfect example of partnership working between the County FA, a Football Foundation site and an existing provider of football which has led to shared outcomes for all. Greg has played a pivotal role in this with his Development Officer role at Elsea Park, Wayne has done incredibly well to form the offer he has, and I have been able to support from a development perspective. The new facility just adds to that positive playing environment which is so important in terms of retaining participation.”
The matches are overseen by Wayne himself and 16-year-old Mason Bussey, who Wayne has taken under his wing to mentor and guide through his transition into open age football as a young match official, allowing Mason to gain valuable experience and confidence in a safe and enjoyable learning environment.
Mason Bussey, Match Official, said: “The opportunity to be involved in the Elsea Park 5-a-side league was one that I could not turn down. Not only is the facility excellent, it’s ran by a great team of devoted, passionate people constantly working to make the facility one of the best in the county. It is also a good chance for me as a young referee to gain experience within open age football, something I would like to continue doing long into the future.’
Fantastic work all round!
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