In the latest edition of The Bluebird, we highlighted the developments taking place at the former Cardiff International Sport Stadium, in Leckwith.
As part of the development invested in by Tan Sri Vincent Tan and Steve Borley – and in conjunction with Cardiff Vale College – a full-size 3G pitch that meets the highest FIFA recommended standards has replaced the previous AstroTurf surface. Significant further development is taking place behind the scenes, with the building of a number of multi-purpose classrooms and training areas.
The original Cardiff International Sport Stadium facility opened back in 2009, in line with the opening of Leckwith Retail Park and our Cardiff City Stadium home. A 5,000-seater stand was created at that time to support athletics and local grassroots involvement, as well as professional athletes. Cardiff City’s Academy squads have been using the facilities for U16 U18 home matches for three seasons to date.
Speaking about the Sports Education Campus development at Leckwith, House of Sport Executive Director, Joanna Borley, spoke to Cardiff City Player HD.
“We’ve just opened a brand new, FIFA Two Star rated, 3G pitch over at Leckwith,” Joanna said. “That will be primarily booked out by grassroots clubs and others here in the local community.
“It is a great facility which should be brilliant for the local community and, like some of our other new facilities at the House of Sport 3, is pretty much booked out already. The Cardiff City women’s development squad are playing there now, and will continue to do so for the remainder of the season.”
Cardiff City Director House of Sport developer, Steve Borley spoke of the background to the development whilst discussing the big plans he has for the facility in partnership with Cardiff Vale College.
He said: “At a time when the pressure is on local authorities in regard to sports facilities, we’re delighted to be able to help develop sport and athletics in the local area with new ideas, and fresh opportunities.
“Within twelve months, we are hoping to cover the 3G surface with an air dome, creating a full-size, in-door surface that can be used all year round. Of course, the Leckwith facilities are currently used on match-days by the Cardiff City Academy. The hope is to be able to strengthen that relationship as the developments continue.
“The advancements at Leckwith Stadium aren’t purely focused around football. We’re hoping to create an IRB standard 3G pitch on the existing rugby surface, providing further multi-purpose, sports facilities available for community use.
“Alongside our partners at Cardiff Vale College, we’re aiming to develop the athletics offering already in place. The two current House of Sport buildings allow football for all, and this is what we would like to progress to with the Athletics Stadium. It’s important for us to give everyone the chance to enjoy sport, whatever his or her level.
“I’d like to thank Mike James, Mark Roberts and all at Cardiff Vale College for their support in both the Leckwith development and, of course, the House of Sport. It’s also extremely important for us to acknowledge the help of Tan Sri Vincent Tan and Berjaya Assets and we’re very pleased that Tan Sri Vincent has continued to support the House of Sport’s development and growth.
“Together, we are looking to improve sports in Cardiff, building towards a unique sports education campus throughout the Leckwith area.”
Cardiff City FC CEO and House of Sport Executive Director, Ken Choo, added: “The multi-functional sports facility at Leckwith is part of a twelve-to-twenty-four month planning initiative to see further development and regeneration in the area. These are exciting times.
“Tan Sri Vincent Tan’s vision is to see sustained development in Cardiff and Wales that will offer young people opportunities that they didn’t have previously. The Leckwith development is part of that vision.”
CLICK BELOW TO WATCH JOANNA’S INTERVIEW WITH CARDIFF CITY PLAYER HD (07.48)