Football Foundation News

Out with the old and in with the new as upgraded changing pavilion is unveiled

Old Owens Association and Sports Club officially unveiled their refurbished changing pavilion in Hertfordshire recently (Saturday 4 November), thanks to a grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which is delivered by the Football Foundation. 

The grant has enabled Old Owens Association and Sports Club to upgrade their existing changing pavilion, which was no longer fit for purpose. The Association hopes that the improved facility, which comprises seven team changing rooms and two officials’ changing rooms with disabled access, will help its users to retain existing players and attract new ones. 

Old Owens Association and Sports Club and Old Owens FC worked alongside the Amateur FA (AFA) and the Football Foundation to compile a five-year Football Development Plan, which is a vision of how sport will be played on site with an emphasis on increasing participation. 

The pavilion will mainly be used by partner club Old Owens FC, which currently has five teams, including a Veterans’ side. Other users of the refurbished facility include: Potters Bar United FC; Tansley FC; Wingate Finchley FC; Northaw FC; Oakwood Town FC and local schools. 

Old Owens Association also runs two cricket teams at the site, as well as hosting Herts County cricket age group mataches, and participants will be able to take advantage of the new pavilion. 

The clubs worked in partnership with the AFA to secure a £35,500 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund. 

Founded in 2000, the Football Foundation is the largest sports charity in the UK funded by the Premier League, The FA and Government, via Sport England. It develops new and refurbished grassroots sports facilities in order to improve the quality and experience of playing sport at the grassroots level. Since it was launched in 2000, the Foundation has awarded around 15,000 grants worth more than £580m towards improving grassroots sport, which it has used to attract additional partnership funding of over £800m – £1.4bn of investment into the grassroots game. 

Since 2000 the Football Foundation Funding Partners’ investment has provided 37 grants worth £1.1m towards grassroots sports projects worth over£1.5m across the clubs affiliated to the AFA. 

By providing more high-quality facilities, coupled with coaching at the appropriate age group, the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund aims to improve the experience for regular players as well as attracting new players to the game. Many of the new state-of-the-art facilities will serve to strengthen the connection between professional football clubs and their local communities, particularly in the most deprived areas of the country, through the professional clubs’ community trusts’ outreach work. 

Ian Breeze, Old Owens FC first team manager, said: “We are very grateful to the AFA and the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund for supporting this refurbishment project. It demonstrates fantastic support for grassroots sport, and these improvements will provide a pleasant changing environment that promotes enjoyment of sport and encourages healthy lifetime activities. 

“The improved facilities will be utilised by all age groups of participants irrespective of race, ability or gender. I should also like to thank Old Owens Association and Sports Club for matching the funds provided by The Football Foundation as well as Bob Leeds of the AFA who supported this bid from the very early stages.” 

Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “The Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund provides the investment necessary to improve grassroots football facilities. So, I am delighted to see Old Owens FC and Old Owens Association and Sports Club join thousands of local clubs who have reaped its benefit, in this case through the opening of an upgraded changing pavilion.  

“Having delivered over £1.4bn of grassroots sports infrastructure projects, the Football Foundation has developed a network of accessible, first-class facilities in areas they will have the greatest impact – thanks to money from the Premier League, The FA and the Government via Sport England.  

“These facilities are more than places to play football at, these facilities are hubs of physical activity, the bedrock of local communities and ‘homes from home’ for so many who also use them as social outlets to learn new skills, gain work experience and other qualifications.” 

For more information, please contact:
– Ian Breeze on 07754 679 140 or at 
– Sophie Huby on 0345 345 4555 Ext: 4292 or at