The Albion’s Glenn Murray made half term special for local children young people and their parents when he paid a visit to the Manor Community Sports facility at Manor Road on Wednesday 15th Feb.
Opening the Manor’s brand new floodlit 3G pitches and hard court area he spent a busy hour chatting to local fans and signing autographs at a pop up showcase event organised by the Manor and local resident led charity DueEast Brighton.
“ The facilities here are superb “ he said. “ I am sure children playing here will remember this for the rest of their lives. The local team at the Manor and all their many partners and supporters have done a brilliant job in making it possible to create this opportunity for local people. “
A group of local volunteers took over running the Manor in 2005 from the City Council with the aim of ensuring continued and increased usage of the Centre for a healthier and more active community. A charity was formed and 12 years on their dreams for creating an indoor and outdoor sports and recreation facility for the whole community has come to fruition. Funding was provided by SITA Environmental and Brighton & Hove City Council's Planning and Sports Facilities departments (from S106 funding from local construction projects). Along with funds previously raised by the volunteers, hard work, dedication and perseverance a fantastic new sports facility for residents has been delivered.
In addition to 2 floodlit 3G pitches and a new outdoor multi-use games area , the Manor has a large sports hall used by many local groups for everything from basketball, wheelchair basketball, football and netball to shintaido, fencing dance and gymnastics.
Every year more than 25 different groups use the Manor including schools and community group bringing hundreds of people regularly to the centre. The Manor is a truly inclusive venue for local people of all ages and backgrounds and is home to regular sessions for Brighton Pebbles which provides activities for children with disabilities, to a Boccia group for older people and a new Wheelchair basketball group.
The new facility will give a massive boost to the local primary schools’ community. Many of the local schools do not have their own pitches and the new facilities will benefit Coombe Road, Elm Grove, Queen’s Park, St Luke’s, City Academy Whitehawk and St Mark’s. Even schools from further afield will feel the benefit, with Hertford Primary and Middle Street Primary having played cup matches on the new surface already. St Mark’s, who are placed next door to The Manor, use the facility for their weekly football club and are now entering fully into the schools’ football programme.
The Manor committee have dedicated the new pitches in memory to Tony Geerts, a teacher at Patcham School and a man who committed himself to the development of schools’ football in Brighton and Hove. Manor Trustee Tim Herbert said : “ Tony was honoured with a lifetime achievement award by the ESFA for his 60 years devoted to football. He passed away in 2015 and we honour Tony in our own way by dedicating this facility to his memory. “
To find out more about the Manor and to book to play on the 3G pitches see their website : http://www.themanorbrighton.com or call the Manor on 01273 676828
The picture shows Glenn Murray with members of the Tantrums and Mini Tantrums dance group , one of several local groups performing at the opening event at the Manor on 15th Feb.