Yesterday we officially opened House of Sport 2 – our very own multi sport arena.

Our official launch was attended by 120 guests including Cardiff City FC owner Tan Sri Vincent Tan, Leighton Andrews AM – minister for Education and Skills, Siobhan Atkinson from the Premier League, Professor Laura McAllister, Mike James of Cardiff and Vale College, Cardiff City FC Manager Malky Mackay and players Craig Bellamy and Ben Nugent.

Plaque Unveiled by Tan Sri Vincent Tan and Leighton Andrews AM Minister for Education and Skills
Plaque Unveiled by Tan Sri Vincent Tan and Leighton Andrews AM Minister for Education and Skills

Our brand new £2m facility, supported by a £350,000 Premier League Community Facility Fund and a £50,000 Sport Wales grant, provides youngsters the opportunity to take part in Futsal Coaching programmes and various sports development programmes run by the Cardiff City Community and Education Foundation. Additionally, Cardiff & Vale College have entered into a long term agreement to use the House of Sport to deliver their sports based courses.

Our new arena

The entire House of Sport complex will enable a whole host of sporting groups within the region to benefit from the same level of training quality and experienced by those who train in our original 3g facility.  It is important to note that the new facility will not be dominated by football. The superb polyurethane flooring enables us to accommodate further sporting activities to include basketball, netball, handball softball, racquet sports and disability sports.  This is demonstrated by the number of sessions already booked by Welsh netball clubs and Cardiff Celts Ladies Basketball club.

Also showcasing at our launch event was a girls’ football tournament, sponsored by New Directions and fantastic artwork by pupils of Woodlands Special School in conjunction with Jon and Sally at Pippins Designs.

Craig Bellamy with Children from Woodlands Special School

Are we finished here? The answer is no. We have aspirations to further develop the House of Sport to accommodate further sports and to meet additional community requirements. We also have ambitions to develop a “sports and lifelong learning hub” with Cardiff and Vale College in association with the Vision 21 charity. These developments are dubbed as Phase 3.

The House of Sport ‘buck’ does not stop in Leckwith either. We are also looking to take the House of Sport ethic and motto of “Dare to Dream” to Llanrumney Hall. This will also be another example of sport, education, the Council and the Community working in synergy.

I’d like to thank the Premier League and Sport Wales for their financial backing. Cardiff Council for their assistance and support, Cardiff & Vale College for their confidence in our future plans and finally Borley Engineering Services Ltd & Berjaya Assets for their continued investment in the House of Sport project.

Onwards and upwards!

Joanna Borley

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