When news happens, text AND and your photos or videos to 80360. Or contact us by email and phone.
Saints player Jason Puncheon unable to attend
A NEW £550,000 pavilion has been officially opened by North West Hampshire MP Sir George Young.
The Government Chief Whip stepped in to declare the new Ken Hogan Pavilion in Overton ready for use, after Southampton Football Club player Jason Puncheon was unable to make it because of heavy snow last Friday.
The pavilion, at Berrydown, was funded largely by sports charity, the Football Foundation, which gave a grant of £278,000 towards the cost of the project.
Contributions were also made by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, which gave £68,000; £52,000 came from Overton Parish Council; £50,000 from Sport England; and £110,000 was raised by local sports charity, Overton Recreation Centre (ORC), which will manage the pavilion.
Various contributions were also made by individuals in the village.
The pavilion will allow the 10-acre site at Berrydown to be used for football, cricket and athletics.
The building, which has been named after the late chairman of ORC, has four team changing rooms, each with showers, two official changing rooms, a function hall and kitchen.
Mr Hogan’s widow, Karen, attended the opening and unveiled a plaque with Sir George, pictured.
Steve Williams, chair of ORC, said: “This great facility is a very welcome boost for grassroots sport.
The Football Foundation and other bodies have generously backed the community that is recognised for loving its sport.”
Paul Thorogood, chief executive of the Football Foundation, said: “It is so rewarding to see this new facility completed and ready for use by the local community.
“Alongside the Hampshire County FA, Overton Recreation Centre has worked extremely hard to ensure that this project has come to fruition and deserve great credit for its endeavours.
“There is a very strong correlation between the quality of sports facilities that are available at the community, grassroots level and healthy participation levels.
“The better the quality of sports facilities, the more likely people will enjoy the experience of playing sport for the love of doing so and will, therefore, be more likely to remain involved in regular sport.”
He added: “This project in Overton is a wonderful example of what the Football Foundation is doing right across the country.”