'The Beat' unveils sports pavillion

IPSWICH Town legend Kevin Beattie unveiled a new £400,000 sports pavilion this weekend.

IPSWICH Town legend Kevin Beattie unveiled a new £400,000 sports pavilion this weekend.

Beattie, voted the club's best ever player, said he was delighted to open Clare's impressive Pavilion 2008, which will herald a new dawn of football in the town - particularly for children.

The former England international said: “The roots of football are with youngsters - they're the future of this great game and I'm so proud to have been asked to do this today.”

John Martin, chairman of the Clare Playing Fields Association and the Pavilion 2008 Committee, said the opening was the culmination of a great deal of hard work.


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He said the scheme was first put forward five years ago when the former pavilion became virtually unusable.

“It was in quite a bad state of repair, the felt roof had deteriorated and was beyond repair - on a wet day you were better off outside than in.”

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He said the village got behind fundraising for the new pavilion, which will primarily serve the town's football teams but all other sports are being encouraged to make use of the building, and grants of £130,000 from Clare Parish Council, £50,000 from St Edmundsbury Borough Council and more than £188,000 from the Football Foundation were secured.

The new building boasts four changing rooms, two referees' rooms, a recreation room and kitchen and storeroom.

Mr Martin said the pavilion would kick start youth football in the town, which had been neglected thanks to the poor facilities available.

Now, five FA qualified coaches have been recruited for youngsters and the burgeoning youth section had put the pavilion at the heart of the community, he said. “It's created great friendships and improved the social set up in Clare which goes well beyond sport.”

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