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Architects appointed to Belfast stadium project

Hamilton Architects have been appointed by the Irish Football Association to lead the integrated consulting team for Northern Ireland’s National Stadium Project. Te Belfast-based design practice joins

Edmond Shipway, Arup, Rider Levett Bucknall and Ben Veenbrink on the multi- million pound development. Designs are to be drawn up for an 18,000-

capacity venue on the site of the existing stadium at Windsor Park, with plans to be submitted by December. Details:

FA’s youth football plans backed

Football Association (FA) shareholders have voted in favour of proposals for a new player development pathway that is set to transform youth football in England. The plans – approved by

87 per cent of shareholders – include a mandatory 5v5 format for U7s and U8s, and a 9v9 format for U11s and U12s to be phased in by 2014-15. Te smaller-sided formats

will enable children to play on appropriate size pitches and goals to allow for greater par- ticipation in the game. Te new framework has also been designed

to help young players develop greater technical skills, while benefiting from a more “child- friendly” approach to competition. Nick Levett, national development manager

for the national governing body, said: “Aſter 138 roadshows nationwide, it was fantastic to get

Harlow (centre) helped mark the courts’ opening

Synthetic clay courts open at Gloucester tennis centre

Four new synthetic clay courts have opened at Oxstalls Tennis Centre in Gloucester, following a £168,000 investment supported by the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA). The courts are thought to be among

the first of their kind in the UK and have floodlights to ensure year-round access. Te centre is run by leisure trust Aspire. LTA development director Tom Harlow

said: “Oxstalls was already a fantastic facility before the addition of these courts, now it’s even better and that’s a good thing for the people of Gloucestershire.” Details:

British Cycling backs proposed Torbay facility

British Cycling has backed a planned new multi-discipline cycling centre in Torbay, Devon, which will provide purpose-built facilities for sport and recreational use. According to British Cycling, the project

will meet demand for such a facility in the south west region and will also cater for a wider increase in participation. Torbay Council and British Cycling have

already held discussions about the con- struction of an outdoor velodrome and a closed road circuit earlier this year. Details:

LTA and TFF join forces to promote tennis

Te Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) and Tennis for Free (TFF) have announced a joint partnership deal to help increase UK participation. Te programme will include

a combination of capital and revenue investment by the LTA to improve tennis facili- ties and initiatives on offer to help attract new players. Facilities that qualify for

extra LTA funding will then benefit from TFF working with local coaches to provide free tennis coaching. Roger Draper, chief executive of the LTA,

Te aim of the joint partnership is to increase grassroots participation Paul Jessop, chief executive of TFF, added:

said: “This partnership is part of a wider, affordable, sustainable programme to try to grow tennis. Together we’re exploring how we can work effectively with local authorities to make tennis more inclusive and accessible.”

“Building grassroots tennis is vital to the future of the game in the UK. We are looking forward to working with the LTA to develop new proj- ects that can make a real difference.” Details:

Work starts on artificial pitch at Berkshire rugby club

Work has now started on the installation of one of the country’s “first club-based artificial pitches” at Braywick Sports Ground – home of Maidenhead Rugby Club in Berkshire. Greenfields has been appointed to deliver the £575,000 project, which is part-funded by the

12 Read Sports Management online

Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead (RBWM) using developer contributions. The Rugby Football Union’s Capital

Investment Fund has also invested £240,000 for the installation of the new artificial pitch. Details:

Issue 3 2012 © cybertrek 2012 Te plans will allow for greater participation in the game at youth level

the endorsement of the majority of the grass- roots football community.” To read more on the FA’s youth development

proposals and the extension of the National Game Strategy, see Sports Management 2011 Issue 2, p38: Details:

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