Kelly Smith MBE launches new sports facility in Abbots Langley

24 May 2016

County Councillor Sara Bedford and Vice Chair of the Abbots Langley Parish Council, Liz Burns, joined ex-England and Arsenal Captain Kelly Smith MBE and girls from a local school football team on Monday morning, 23rd May, for the official launch of new sports equipment in Abbots Langley.

The official launch was the final result of hard work by the Parish Council, in partnership with Youth Connexions, Thrive Homes, and ‘AIMS - Abbots Langley Improvements’, a voluntary group dedicated to tidying up and improving the village’s green spaces. The project was designed to enhance the playground area on Summerhouse Way playing fields for young people living in the vicinity.  A consultation was carried out with the local community to explore their opinions, with the result being the decision to seek funding for some all-weather sporting equipment.

Abbots Langley Opening With Kelly Smith MBE

Kelly Smith MBE (centre) with local Councillors and representatives from Youth Connexions, AIMS and Thrive Homes together with the local school girls’ football team.

An application to the lottery fund resulted in a £10,000 grant and the Youth Connexions Three Rivers Team bid for and secured £5,000 from Section 106 money from the local area. With the funding in place, Abbots Langley Parish Council was then able to put the project into action – not only sourcing and arranging for the build of the new equipment, but also removing the old and tired ‘shoot at goal’ basketball net.

The result of these efforts is a brand new, all-purpose goal mouth with built in basketball hoop, complete with an all-weather surface, marked out to cover several different sports. The area has already started to prove popular with young people in the neighbourhood – and will contribute to youth work in the area in the future.  Kips Green, Youth Connexions Youth Work Team Leader for Three Rivers, commented, “This is a fantastic local resource for young people and will only add to the youth work offer in the area – just in time for the summer.  We look forward to working with young people in and around the Summerhouse Way area.”

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