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Brighton & Hove Albion’s American Express Elite Football Performance Centre saw record levels of use by the local community last month.

The training ground in Lancing is home to a 3G pitch that is solely designated for use by the local community.

The Community Pitch, as it is called, is operated by Albion in the Community (AITC), the club’s official charity, and is available to local schools, junior clubs and organisations.

And October saw the pitch record its highest-ever...

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Record month on Brighton & Hove Albion’s Community Pitch

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Brighton & Hove Albion’s American Express Elite Football Performance Centre saw record levels of use by the local community last month.

The training ground in Lancing is home to a 3G pitch that is solely designated for use by the local community.

The Community Pitch, as it is called, is operated by Albion in the Community (AITC), the club’s official charity, and is available to local schools, junior clubs and organisations.

And October saw the pitch record its highest-ever level of community use. It was used for an average of 56 hours each week and hosted more than 4,000 individual player sessions.

A number of special events boosted the regular levels, including a range of girls only football sessions; inclusive holiday courses for people with a disability; and matches featuring some of AITC’s teams.

Local junior clubs and schools who used the pitch during October included: three teams from ASC Strikers; Worthing United; Lancing Youth; Lancing Colts; Ferring Youth; Bramber Primary School; and Ferring Divas. Local charity Electric Storm Youth, which works with people from the Lancing and Sompting area, also used the facility.

The pitch saw higher than usual use from participants within AITC’s programmes during October, with the charity hosting a month-long celebration of its disability department.

And it isn’t just the Community Pitch that is used by the community. The charity also organises regular use of the indoor pitch at the training ground, with a growing number of regular sessions hosted inside, including AITC’s regular session for people with autism.

Martin Perry, executive director at Brighton & Hove Albion and AITC’s chair of trustees was instrumental in the design and build of the training ground and is pleased to see the Community Pitch being used so regularly.

He said: “When we initially designed the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre we were determined that it would not only be a world class facility for the club’s various teams but also somewhere that would benefit local people.

“The Community Pitch is one of the most well-used facilities at the training ground and it is fantastic to see so many people get the opportunity to play and alongside the Albion first team.”

For more information on the Community Pitch and how local teams and schools can access it, email: communitypitch@albioninthecommunity.org.uk.