Local MP Caroline Nokes swaps Parliament for the pitch

The FA
Local MP Caroline Nokes opens new football facility at Knightwood Leisure Centre and becomes an FA Grassroots Champion

• On Saturday, Caroline Nokes opened a new grass pitch at Knightwood Leisure Centre
• Caroline was presented with a Grassroots Champion award by FA CEO Martin Glenn to recognise her support for the grassroots game in Hampshire

Caroline Nokes, MP for Romsey and Southampton North today visited several sites in her constituency, learning more about how the FA and Hampshire County FA investments are widening grassroots participation and improving facilities in the local area.

Caroline opened the new grass pitches at Knightwood Leisure Centre, made possible thanks to a £40,000 grant from the FA and Premier League Facilities Fund, before watching a group of under 10s from St Francis Youth Football Club in a training session

In recognition of her support for the game in her constituency, Martin Glenn, Chief Executive of the FA, and Jim Pearson, Chairman of Hampshire FA presented Caroline with the FA’s Grassroots Champion award.

This visit is part of the #FootballFootprint Campaign which is being run by The FA, the not-for-profit national governing body for the game in England, in conjunction with local County FAs. The campaign is giving MPs an opportunity to meet the army of workers and volunteers that make grassroots football possible at a local level and to visit showcase sites and initiatives.

Caroline Nokes MP said:
“I was thrilled to open Knightwood Leisure Centre’s new grass pitch and watch the children of St Francis Youth Football Club christen the turf in a lively coaching session. I am extremely grateful to the FA and Test Valley Borough Council who both provided generous amounts of funding to make this great new facility possible.
Grassroots sports provide so many benefits to people of all ages and abilities, so it was fantastic to see first-hand how budding players are benefiting from investment in modern football facilities in my constituency.”

Martin Glenn, Chief Executive of the Football Association, said:
"The FA is investing a record £180m back into every level of football in England this season. This money will help find the next Harry Kane, double the size of women’s football, renovate pitches and build new clubhouses. I’m delighted that Caroline has spent the day in her constituency learning more about Hampshire’s #FootballFootprint and I encourage all MPs to get involved with our campaign to champion grassroots football in their community”.

Jim Pearson, Chairman of Hampshire FA, said:
“We were delighted to show Caroline some of the great work being done in Hampshire to support grassroots football. Over 15,000 volunteers help the Hampshire FA support the 60,000 amateur players in the county so we were thrilled to participate in the FA’s #FootballFootprint campaign that champions their hard work and dedication to the game.”