Sports hub in £60,000 FA windfall

UCLan's Cian McEvoy and Sarah Berry (centre) with the Sir Tom Finney Preston Soccer Centre team.
UCLan's Cian McEvoy and Sarah Berry (centre) with the Sir Tom Finney Preston Soccer Centre team.

Sporting bosses at The University of Central Lancshrie are celebrating after netting a cash windfall.

The Football Association has pledged support for 
UCLan’s grassroots football development by providing an extra three years of funding for its University Grassroots Hub.

UCLan became a Grassroots Hub, formerly a FA community Hub, in 2013 when it teamed up with Lancashire County FA .

Since then, it has gone from strength to strength working with a wide range of community groups to promote sport.

This had included playing an important role in the development of the Sir Tom Finney Preston Soccer Centre, in partnership with UCLan Students’ Union, which has grown from a charity providing football coaching to four to 16-year-olds, including disabled children, into a full functioning club with several age group teams.

As a result of the work, the FA, in partnership with British Universities and Colleges Sport has agreed to provide £60,000 to fund UCLan’s Grassroots Hub until July 2020.

UCLan’s football development officer Cian McEvoy (pictured) is funded through the scheme. He said: “Through my role I’ve been involved in a lot of projects that utilise sport to benefit many different people from the local community in a variety of ways.

“I am delighted the FA has recognised this and provided further funding that will allow UCLan to work closely with partners on initiatives to improve both physical and mental well-being through sport.

Based at the UCLan Sports Arena in Cottam, the centre ‘s community contribution was acknowledged with a royal visit from HRH Prince Harry last year.

Over the next three years, the Hub is hoping to continue to expand.

Spokeswoman Sarah Berry added: “Creating a world-class football offer is something we are striving to achieve both with our university students and the local community.”