Powerleague pitches come to Nine Elms

Published: Tuesday 25th September 18

Sports fans in Nine Elms can now play on one on London’s most innovative football pitches, which opened this weekend at New Covent Garden market.

Local young people try out the pitch

The market collaborated with Powerleague to launch five 5-a-side and one 7-a-side football pitches alongside a unique high-tech skills zone at its site in Nine Elms.  Yesterday, a launch event with local children and community groups saw renowned football freestyler Tom Folan showing off his ball skills.

The pitch is unique in that it is above the wholesale market’s new Recycling Centre and has the first high-tech skills zone of its kind in the UK which is open to the public – typically this sort of facility would only exist at professional football clubs.

With these football pitches, Covent Garden Market Authority and their development partners VINCI St. Modwen are delivering the first new sports facilities in the transformation of Nine Elms giving the local community direct access to high-quality sports pitches that were previously lacking from the area.

The football pitches allow for leagues, social bookings, kids’ parties, coaching and corporate events. There is also a community use agreement in place which means that local schools and community groups can play for free every day of the week.

The Leader of Wandsworth Council Ravi Govindia, said the pitches were a key part in ensuring local people – especially young people - benefited from the regeneration of the area, with the council working to ensure that as well as new homes and jobs, Nine Elms was delivering top-class cultural and sporting opportunities.

“It’s so important that young people, as well as local sports clubs and community groups, are being given the chance to use these all-weather pitches and they will be a wonderful resource for the area.  With the help of digital tech Young footballers will be able to compare themselves against premier league footballers - and before long a Battersea youngster could be playing in one of the top teams.”

L-R: Theresa Wickham, non-executive director of New Covent Garden Market, Cllr Govindia, Pam Alexander, Daniel Tomkinson, chief executive of New Covent Garden Market, Kaifui Brese and Michael Raby, Club Manager at Powerleague Nine Elms

Pam Alexander, Chair of Covent Garden Market Authority, said: “Covent Garden Market Authority are redefining the role a wholesale market plays in a capital city centre. These pitches are the first stage in delivering a direct, permanent benefit to the market’s neighbours and are a sign of the many ways in which our new market will bring the Nine Elms communities together. These new pitches are part of the evolution of New Covent Garden Market, where a brand new, better market is being built for our traders alongside a new Food Quarter for London devoted to food, culture and community.”

Local youth worker Kafui Brese, who works for the FAST Hub in Patmore, said: “We’re very excited to have this new facility on our doorstep, especially knowing that Powerleague are carving out space specifically for community use.

“It’s a great opportunity for our young people – a lot of them have a huge passion for sport which unfortunately dissipates as they lack the facilities to pursue their passion. To have this facility located at New Covent Garden Market will help create a new avenue for the existing community and the future community of Nine Elms to come together and bond over the shared experience of football. We welcome this new facility to the area with great anticipation for the benefits it will bring!” 

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