Cardinals Sports Hub Opens
After several delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there was both a relieved, and exuberant, atmosphere at Woking College on Friday 15th July as the brand-new Cardinals Sports Hub was opened, in the presence of the Mayor of Woking, local MP Jonathan Lord, project partners and local councillors.
The project, which includes a state-of-the-art 3G sports pitch and new Pavilion, is a partnership, building on many years of award-winning community engagement by Cardinals in the Community working with Woking Borough Council and Woking College. Funding for this exciting community initiative came from multiple sources and the Football Foundation contributed over £379,000, and the London Marathon Community Trust added a further £150,000.
"The new facility is a community game-changer on two levels," said CEO of CITC, John Monday.
"The pitch is already used by the College, Academy and Women's teams, as well as partner clubs Woking Tigers, Goldsworth Park Rangers, Woking Cougars and Surrey Schools Girls.
"In addition, the versatile meeting room, which accommodates 80 with a fitted kitchen attached and plentiful parking is seeing increasing bookings," Monday added.
The Hub is also a base for extensive community initiatives, working with over 2500 people a month. A major focus is health and wellbeing, winning national recognition for the breadth of its work with disability groups, schools and supporting those with mental health struggles. The outreach work is picking back up following lockdowns and new initiatives include supporting dementia sufferers, making the Club dementia-friendly, as well as exploring how to support those with Autism. Women's football is also a massive growth area and encompasses the growing network, and mum's girl's football
Chair of Trustees at CITC, Ian Nicholson, highlighted the innovative aspects of the scheme building on the many years of impact of the Woking Football Club community vision. He emphasised that the full impact of the pandemic and cost of living crisis was likely to be a once in a generation challenge but, despite all charities facing a financial squeeze, CITC were up for the task, supported by partners, and primed to do whatever it could to support the most vulnerable.
“The health and wellbeing of local communities is a key priority for this administration, so it is fabulous to see this high-quality community facility come to fruition," said Cllr Will Forster, Woking Borough Council’s Deputy Leader and Ward Councillor.
“The project is an excellent example of partnership working between Cardinals in the Community, Woking College and Woking Borough Council.
"Having opened to the public earlier this year, I am especially pleased to see how well it is being used, with a huge number of people and diverse communities using the facility,” added Forster
At the close of the event, it was emphasised that the vision was for the Sports Hub - with College, Council and Football Club support - to serve thousands of local people, particularly the most vulnerable, for many decades to come.
For information on Cardinals in the Community's work, and to book the facilities, please email email@example.com or see www.wokingcitc.org