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Chris Coleman marks new chapter in history of Jenner Park

26 November 2015

A new chapter was marked in the proud history of Jenner Park stadium in Barry on Thursday when Chris Coleman officially opened the new 3G artificial playing surface.

Coleman kick off

 

The manager of the Wales national team marked the occasion by kicking the first ball in a football festival featuring 160 youngsters from primary schools across the Vale. Coleman was also presented with a gift by pupils at nearby Jenner Park Primary school to congratulate him on his success as the national boss.

 

The new pitch, installed following a six figure investment by the Vale of Glamorgan Council, is part of an ambitious plan to open the stadium up to the community and secure its future as the premier sporting venue in the Vale.

 

Speaking at the opening Chris Coleman commended the renovation, saying: “Football, like any sport, starts in the community and we need facilities like this one if we are going to nurture the next generation of sporting stars.

 

“Barry has a proud footballing history. The new pitch will be great for Barry Town United and hopefully will help propel them back into the Welsh Premier League, but the real benefit will be to the children playing here today and the community as a whole.

 

“Credit must go to the Vale of Glamorgan Council for having the vision to make this happen and for making a major investment which will pay dividends for many years to come.”

Coleman presentation

 

Speaking at the opening Chris Coleman commended the renovation, saying: “Football, like any sport, starts in the community and we need facilities like this one if we are going to nurture the next generation of sporting stars.

 

“Barry has a proud footballing history. The new pitch will be great for Barry Town United and hopefully will help propel them back into the Welsh Premier League, but the real benefit will be to the children playing here today and the community as a whole.

 

“Credit must go to the Vale of Glamorgan Council for having the vision to make this happen and for making a major investment which will pay dividends for many years to come.”

 

Jenner Park faced an uncertain future earlier this year as its high running costs were unsustainable in light of the unprecedented financial challenges being faced by the Vale Council. However, the installation of the new pitch will not only see costs cut but also use of the stadium made available to the whole community.

 

Cllr Gwyn John, Cabinet Member for Visible Services & Leisure, said: “The easy decision would have been to simply close the doors to Jenner Park for good. Thankfully for all of those that value sport, the Vale of Glamorgan Council had the vision to develop a better facility and new way of managing it that will ensure this historic ground is used for generations to come.

 

“It is the Council’s aim to get more people living more active lives and the renovation of Jenner Park will help us take a huge step forward towards this goal. The new Jenner Park will be somewhere where children and young people can develop their skills on a perfect playing surface and where adults at all levels can play the game they love in a first class facility.”

 

Gavin Chesterfield, manager of Barry Town United FC, said: “Jenner Park is renowned throughout Welsh football and beyond. There have been many great nights throughout the stadium’s proud 102 year history. However, the installation of the new surface has given the stadium a new lease of life and it is now a hive of sporting activity. 

 

“As a club, the new pitch has opened up many possibilities in terms of how we engage the local community and we will be announcing many exciting new ventures in the coming weeks and months. To complement the launch of the new pitch the club has given out 300 free tickets to children and their families for our upcoming Welsh Cup 3rd round tie versus Denbigh Town on 5th December.” 

 

Jenner Plaque

 

Work on the new playing surface was completed in October and the pitch has since received FIFA’s highest level of accreditation, FIFA Pro. The artificial surface has already seen action at levels ranging from mini-football to Barry Town United FC’s home games in the Welsh Football League Division 1.

 

As part of the same programme of work being undertaken by the Council construction is soon to begin on four smaller five-a-side pitches at the Colcot Sports Centre in Barry. Alongside the upgraded Jenner Park these pitches will provide a suite of surfaces within the Vale’s largest town that can be played on by all sections of the community 365 days a year.

 

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