Island Roads has pitched in to help a Ventnor area youth football club create a much-needed new playing surface.
The highways PFI company was delighted to answer a call from Rew Valley Youth FC to help clear undergrowth and dense vegetation to restore a pitch not used for around 15 years.
In that time, the two-acre area had become not only overgrown and uneven but littered with rocks and debris. A new playing surface was desperately needed by Rew Valley as not only is it a much-used club, its dedicated team of volunteer coaches and committee members have helped earn it the FA Charter Standard this year.
The club had been playing on school fields in Upper Ventnor for many years. Following a recent change of ownership the football pitches were replaced with a rugby pitch. Rew Valley Youth FC then sought an alternative ground and acquired the lease for a 2-acre piece of land at Watcombe Bottom, Ventnor.
It was this patch that needed urgent clearance before it could be levelled and reseeded for the use of the 60 boys and girls aged between six and 14 who are members of Rew Valley Youth FC.
Club volunteers had attempted to undertake the clearance themselves but turned to Island Roads for help when the scale of the task became apparent.
Working with its contractors, Island Roads arranged for specialist equipment - mowers and flails - to be put to use cutting back the scrub and undergrowth that had covered the pitch.
Rew Valley Youth FC secretary Donald Bardell said: “The team from Island Roads cleared large areas of the land and shredded the cut brambles and gorse. In addition, they cut around ½ acre of the turf to ground level.
“The work meant the main contractors were able to start directly with the ground works rather than spending time on clearance. This enabled them to achieve a greater degree of levelling and top soil replacement than would have been possible within the limited time of the contract.
“The first stage of the ground works is now complete and we are progressing towards grading and reseeding. We are most grateful for the contribution from Island Roads for their assistance towards our project.
”The location presents an opportunity to return youth football to the town’s senior football club. This will enable us to retain and expand our number of teams and support more children in this socially deprived part of the Island.”
Dave Wallis, Island Roads operation manager, said: “Many of us here at Island were really pleased to be able to help out a local club that is doing such excellent work in encouraging young people from the Ventnor area to play the game and develop their skills.”