Berkhamsted School helps tackle pitch shortage

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An independent school is doing its bit to help a popular football club that is struggling to provide enough pitches for its players.

Berkhamsted Raiders is one of the largest clubs of its kind in the country and has more than 700 young footballers in its teams.

But our sister paper the Gazette reported last month that rising player numbers mean the club has outgrown nearby playing fields.

Berkhamsted School has now allowed the club free use of its two pitches at Haslam Field in the town’s Shootersway.

Raiders chairman Keith Pollard said: “This is another great example of how local schools and sports clubs can work together for the benefit of the community as a whole.

“We are delighted that in an Olympic year, the school has come forward to support us and enable more local children to participate in sport.”

The pitches will be made available for the U10 and U11 teams for Sunday fixtures.

Berkhamsted Raiders funds pitches, goalposts and nets at the town’s Bridgewater Middle School, Greenway School, Egerton Rothesay School and Thomas Coram CofE Middle School.

It has 24 pitches that have to be shared between its 56 teams.

The Football Foundation has paid £1,000 to the Raiders for two sets of smaller goalposts for nine-a-side pitches – smaller than full-sized adult pitches – at Ashlyns School, Berkhamsted. They will be used by the U11 and U12 teams.

Mr Pollard said: “We have a booming junior section, and have had to create five 9v9 pitches at Ashlyns School and Berkhamsted Sports Club to accommodate our 9v9 boys and girls teams. They were an essential investment.”