Bobbies pitch in for estates' youngsters

POLICE are trying to raise thousands of pounds to create a purpose-built football pitch for children on four Weston estates. Officers want to raise more than £40,000 to build a floodlit five-a-side pitch primarily for youngsters on the Bournville, Oldmixo

POLICE are trying to raise thousands of pounds to create a purpose-built football pitch for children on four Weston estates.Officers want to raise more than £40,000 to build a floodlit five-a-side pitch primarily for youngsters on the Bournville, Oldmixon, Coronation and Potteries estates.The scheme is being spearheaded by Sergeant Gareth Starr, of the south ward neighbourhood policing team. The idea evolved after Sgt Starr started a five-a-side league for youngsters to give them something to do.The new pitch would provide a base for the league and a place for youngsters to go where they can play football away from people's homes.The pitch is planned for a patch of land off Loxton Road on the Coronation Estate and possible schemes have already been drawn up. Some of the cash needed for the project has already been identified but more is still needed and Sgt Starr is looking for organisations which would be able to donate cash.The land is currently an unused park and North Somserset Council already has plans in place to create a grass football pitch.But Sgt Starr is confident he can create a purpose-built fenced and floodlit five-a-side facility, which could also possibly incorporate a basketball court.Sgt Starr said: "About a year ago, during an operation on the Oldmixon estate, we saw some youths kicking a football against a wall."I asked them why they were doing it and they said they had nowhere else to play. I asked if they would want to get involved in some five-a-side football and they said they would."As a result a five-a-side league with three teams was formed, based at Hutton Moor Leisure Centre and then Weston Football Club. The teams are made up of youngsters from Brue Close on the Bournville estate and youths from the Oldmixon and Coronation estates. Any youngsters living on one of the estates is welcome, as long as they are not in trouble with the police or at school.* Any companies or individuals who would like to help with funding should contact Sgt Starr on 01934 638165.


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