By Mark Doyle, CCC
Speaking from Ferrymead Park today as part of his host city visits, Dave Beeche, CEO LOC FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015, says the upcoming U-20 World Cup is great news for football and for Christchurch.
“The FIFA U-20 World Cup 2015 will give us the chance to see and experience some of the most talented young footballers on the planet, but perhaps more importantly this tournament will create a lasting legacy for future generations of players on these fields.
“The playing fields at Ferrymead, Garrick, Avonhead and Linfield Parks have been upgraded to deliver world-class training facilities for the teams participating at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand and will be one of the lasting legacies from the event.
“These pitches will help produce more players of the calibre of Ryan Nelsen and Winston Reid and ensure that amateur players of all ages and abilities get to play more football on better surfaces. They are testimony to the outstanding financial contribution made by FIFA, Christchurch City Council and other stakeholders, and another sign that this great city is on its way back after a tough few years,” Mr Beeche says.
Also speaking at Ferrymead Park, Craig Rhodes, Chairman of Mainland Football says, “We are delighted with the support from Christchurch City Council with the development of these four quality pitches for the tournament, which will enjoyed by the wider community for many years. This event is going to be amazing and football in our region will be the huge winner.”
Official Council representative for the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015, Councillor Yani Johanson says, “This is a significant event for Christchurch and the city is excited to be hosting the future stars of world football. It gives us an opportunity to showcase the city as it recovers and rebuilds to a global audience.
“It has been a collaborative effort with our partners to prepare and provide upgraded facilities and fields. The outcome of this work will enable our young aspiring athletes to have quality pitches that perform better, reduce injuries and will provide a more effective use of sports grounds particularly through winter. This work will provide great benefits to our sporting community for many years to come and is something we can be really proud of,” Councillor Johanson says.
· The FIFA U-20 World Cup 2015 New Zealand takes place 30 May – 20 June 2015.
· All-weather sand carpet sports pitches offer a safer and more consistent surface with first class drainage and are ideal for both training and playing, all year round.
· The Christchurch region has 32 football clubs and 11,208 playing members:
o 3482 Senior players
o 7726 Junior layers
o 1159 Female players
o 10049 Male players
For further information about the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015, please visit www.christchurch2015.co.nz