New sports pitch to engage more students and the local community in healthy activities

New Sports Pitch

28 July 2015

A new state-of-the-art floodlit sports pitch will enable Aston University to engage more students and the wider Birmingham community in a greater variety of sports and activities from August.  

The £540,000 project will expand the number of community sports programmes delivered by the University while aiming to widen participation in sport in Walsall, Sandwell and North Birmingham.

The new facility at the Aston University Recreation Centre, on Birmingham Road, Great Barr, will be home to four community use partnership clubs: Aldridge and Walsall Hockey Club, West Bromwich Hockey Club, Rushall Olympic Football Club and F.C. Premier. 

Aston University’s Hockey Club will also benefit from the development of the new Sand-dressed EIH Category 2 pitch. Previously, the Club been hampered by having to hire additional pitches in other locations but they will now be able to play all of their matches on campus. 

In addition to Aston students, local schools, colleges and recreational users will have the opportunity to hire the all-weather multi-surface too. 

Mike Kirkman, Aston University’s Director of Sport, said: “We have a proud history at the Outdoor Recreation Centre of providing high quality facilities for community sport and the installation of this new facility will greatly enhance provision for competitive hockey and football training in the area.” 

Peter Icke, Treasurer of West Bromwich Hockey Club, commented: “We are delighted to have agreed a community sports partnership with Aston University from. We are very excited for the coming season having secured use of this brilliant new facility which will be the new home base for our club. We operate four men’s teams and a ladies team in competitive leagues in addition to a thriving junior section and we hope that we will attract many new members as a result of our move.” 

The Outdoor Recreation Centre is the base for five of the University’s sports clubs and has a long history of collaboration with the local community. The complex covers 48 acres and provides both synthetic and high quality grass pitches for football, rugby, cricket, hockey and other sports. 

Sport England provided £250,000 of funding towards the Centre’s new facilities via their Community Sports Improvement Fund. The Fund invests in projects that improve the quality and experience of sport. 


For more information concerning the new sports pitch and the Aston University Outdoor Recreation Centre, please contact Mike Kirkman, Director of Sport, on: 0121 204 4624 or via: m.kirkman@aston.ac.uk