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Gloucestershire Business News

Artificial sports pitches to be opened at university

Two new state-of-the-art 3G sports pitches at the University of Gloucestershire's Oxstalls sports centre will be officially opened next week.

The pitches have been developed to increase sport participation across the university and the Gloucestershire community, where there is a shortage of suitable outdoor sport facilities locally.

The two pitches will offer students and people across Gloucestershire all-year-round access to a variety of sports including rugby and football, walking football and a range of disability sport, with world-class artificial playing surfaces.

The AGP's have been developed with funding from the University of Gloucestershire, the Rugby Football Union and the Premier League & the FA Facilities Fund, which is delivered by the Football Foundation.

The pitches are FIFA and World Rugby compliant and will be available for students to use 9am-5pm Monday to Friday and are available for community bookings at evenings and weekends when they will be managed by Aspire Sports and Cultural Trust.

Anita Navin, head of the School of Sport and Exercise at the University of Gloucestershire, said: "We are thrilled to see the Oxstalls Sports Park emerge as an International standard facility which will offer additional opportunities for individuals to engage in a range of activities for health and wellbeing.

"Our ambition is to also attract major events which will begin with the Severn Stars Super League Netball Club playing their home games here in 2019.

"Building our connections with the local communities, connecting with the hard to reach groups and adding vibrancy to the city are our prime targets."

England Rugby's investment in artificial grass pitches is part of their Rugby World Cup 2015 legacy of delivering over £50m into the development of 100 AGPs across England.

Steve Grainger, RFU Rugby development director, said: "We are delighted to work in partnership with the University of Gloucestershire to increase rugby across the area.

"The university has a fantastic rugby programme and we hope that the new AGP will continue to foster strong links with rugby clubs across the area, providing them with access to a high quality playing surface that can be used year round."

The pitches will be officially opened on Tuesday, December 5, at 11am when Stephen Marston, Vice Chancellor of the University of Gloucestershire, will be joined by Chris Kelly, Junior Vice President of the Rugby Football Union.

Picture credit: Pixabay

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