By Louie Chandler
West Ham United vice-chairman Karen Brady has officially opened a new artificial pitch in Beckton, East London.
The Apprentice star was joined by Hammers defender Reece Burke and Joe Lyons, chief executive of the West Ham foundation.
The new pitch was built thanks to funds from the FA Facilities Fund.
Brady told the the club’s official website: “This is what football is all about, seeing players of all different ages and backgrounds enjoy themselves purely for the love of playing the sport.
“This new all-weather pitch will make a tremendous difference, helping youngsters across Beckton and beyond to adopt football as a real passion – a platform to make positive life choices and engage among the local community.”
The state-of-the-art facility at Beckton is projected to increase overall sports participation by 78% in the area and will see 17 new teams created.
West Ham United captain Mark Noble, who grew up in the area, was also very impressed with the facilities.
“Having played across all levels of the game, I know how important these types of facilities are in helping nurture good football, and importantly, reaching out to the local community.
“I enjoy a special connection with the area and have seen the massive impact that West Ham Foundation make in the local community. They deliver a huge number of programmes for men, women, junior and disabled players, using the power of football to really turn people’s lives around.”
The West Ham Foundation will be holding a disability Football Development and Talent ID day on February 25 on the brand new pitch.
The sessions are free and any boys or girls aged 11-15 are welcome to attend.
If you aren’t able to make this one, a full list of the club’s training days can be found here.