The Scottish Football Partnership was delighted to be able to award grant funding to Strathaven Dynamo AFC to assist in the creation of a new full-size, floodlit, all-weather 3G multi-sports pitch at Whiteshawgate which was officially opened on Friday, 24th March, 2017 by Aileen Campbell, MSP, the Minister for Public Health and Sport.
Run by W3ST – Whiteshawgate 3G Sports Trust which is a partnership between Strathaven Dynamo AFC and Strathaven Rugby Club – the new facility cost £670,000 and was completed in just five months by Malcolm Sports Surfaces.
Cashback for Communities, sportscotland, The Renewable Energy Fund, The Scottish Football Partnership, The Robertson Trust and The Moffat Trust have been the main backers for the state-of-the-art project and an appeal by W3ST – launched just over a year ago – saw the entire Strathaven community unite to help raise £100,000 to reach the final target.
Training sessions and match play are now all underway at the new facility and the photograph below shows the players savouring their first steps, kicks and passes on the new pitch.
Frank McGraw, Chairman of Strathaven Dynamo AFC, said at the launch of the new facility: “What a sight it was to see so many Dynamo teams training on the pitch for the first time. It was great to see the smiles on the faces of all the girls and boys. It really has been all worthwhile just to see that.”
“This has been a pipedream for the football club for many years and we are looking forward to growing our club even more and forming a strong partnership with our rugby cousins for years to come.”
“This facility is a great asset for both clubs and indeed for the Strathaven community.”
Aileen Campbell was enthusiastic in her praise for the project which has been a long-term aim for Strathaven for several years.
“I am really pleased to see the collaboration between the Dynamos and the Rugby Club to create this facility. It makes sense for community clubs to pull together – to pull resources and efforts to make something that is of real benefit for the local community. Cashback has been instrumental in bringing this project to life and I am really proud to see the dedication of all the volunteers who are motivated to provide opportunities for young people and I’m sure this pitch will increase participation and bring positive outcomes to Strathaven and the surrounding villages.”
Cammy Watt, Scottish FA Facilities Manager, said he was “delighted to see this latest CashBack for Pitches project reach completion after what has been a long and sometimes challenging journey.”
“The new 3G pitch is a further fantastic example of football and rugby working in partnership to deliver a high quality facility to benefit local clubs”.
“We’re sure the pitch will act as a catalyst in driving even greater levels of participation in healthy sports activity for those in and around Strathaven and the opening is about them celebrating this fantastic achievement.”
The official launch was followed by a public open day on Saturday, 25th March where the people of Strathaven and neighbouring towns such as Chapelton and Sandford came along to observe the new turf for themselves as well as enjoy refreshments and speak to club members. Both days were highly enjoyable and helped to symbolise the positive impact the pitch has had on the youth of Strathaven.