Thursday 11 April 2013

Premier League helps Cardiff City open House of Sport II

Welsh outfit are first non-Premier League club to gain from Premier League Community Facility Fund

  • Leighton Andrews AM gives a speech inside the House of Sport's main arena

  • The facility was officially opened by Andrews and Cardiff owner Tan Sri Vincent Tan

Cardiff City have become the first non-Premier League club to benefit from the Premier League Community Facility Fund (PLCFF). 

"The launch of House of Sport II here in Cardiff is fantastic news for the local community"
Malky Mackay

The Championship leaders opened the House of Sport II, a new home for community sport, Cardiff City FC Community & Education Foundation and its programmes, on Tuesday. The £1m training centre was supported with a £350,000 capital grant from the PLCFF. 

Funded by the Premier League and delivered by the Football Foundation, £18m is being invested by the PLCFF over the next three years to develop new or refurbished sports facilities for local people across the country.

The Fund is open to all football club community-led organisations from the Premier League, Football League, and Football Conference, including the Conference North and South Divisions.

The Facility is a second-stage development for Cardiff City who opened the House of Sport, an indoor 3G training facility behind the Cardiff City Stadium, in 2010. The House of Sport II is a new 63m x 42m arena that will be home to a range of sporting activities, which is expected to be used by in excess of 600,000 individuals over the next five years.

Three key sports

Three sports will have majority use of the venue: the Cardiff City Futsal Scholarship, the Welsh Football Trust Futsal coaching and the Cardiff Junior Futsal League will use the facility nearly half the time, Welsh Basketball will run coaching and leagues for 38% of the time and Welsh Netball will enjoy 16% use. House of Sport II will also be used by local schools, twilight football clubs and disability football.

"The PLCFF is all about providing sports facilities that reinvigorate local communities"
Richard Scudamore

“Cardiff City FC Community & Education Foundation has an emerging reputation for community development delivery," said Richard Scudamore, the Premier League Chief Executive. "The Premier League Community Facility Fund is all about providing sports facilities that reinvigorate local communities, and we are extremely pleased that they are the first club outside of the top-flight to receive this investment.

“With the likes of Craig Bellamy and Gareth Bale, the community of Cardiff has never had far to look for inspiration. I’m sure Cardiff City and Wales would like to find more like them, but it’s also important clubs to make a positive social difference at the heart of their community and that’s what the House of Sport II will do.”

Mackay backing

The new PLCFF-enhanced sites also help to strengthen links between professional football clubs and their communities, becoming venues for the clubs’ outreach work, and Cardiff City manager Malky Mackay, who was at the opening ceremony, believes House of Sport II will have a fantastic impact on the club, as well as the local community.

“The launch of House of Sport II here in Cardiff is fantastic news for the local community," he said. "The House of Sport has proven an exceptional and invaluable facility to my staff and players over the past 18 months and we’ve seen first-hand why local groups, sports clubs and colleges - including our friends and colleagues at Cardiff and Vale - have taken to playing and working there.

"This facility will give many young people in Cardiff and the surrounding areas the opportunity to take part in sport"
Scott Young

“I’ve no doubt that House of Sport II will prove equally attractive to Cardiff’s sporting community, especially in its catering for Futsal, which has an incredible effect on young players honing their touch and skills. We’re very lucky to have the House of Sport on our doorsteps.”

Cardiff has a population of over 340,000 people, with an additional 125,000 in the Vale of Glamorgan, which collectively represents over 15% of the population of Wales, but whilst the Welsh capital has higher than average levels of sporting participation, the Welsh Health Survey also shows Cardiff to have very low percentages of adults meeting the recommended levels of physical activity (30%), the lowest in Wales. It is hoped that House of Sport II will inspire more of the population into engaging with sport.

Scott Young, Cardiff City Community Foundation Manager added:  “I’m delighted that the Premier League Community Facility Fund investment has helped deliver a state-of-the-art multi-sports facility.

"This facility will give many young people, in Cardiff and the surrounding areas, the opportunity to take part in sport. Cardiff’s track record of producing champions shows how, with the right facilities and support in place, young people’s talent can be nurtured to deliver the professional stars and medal-winners of tomorrow. 

“With the owners and directors moving the club in the right direction, their forward thinking is a shining example of how we’re helping transform the places where people play sport and deliver a lasting legacy beyond far beyond our time.”

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Key Points

  • Cardiff City build new home for sport thanks to £350,000 grant from Premier League Community Facility Fund
  • Championship leaders first club outside of top-flight to receive PLCFF support
  • Futsal, basketball and netball main beneficiaries of new indoor arena