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SALMOND AND THOMSON WELCOME OPENING OF NEW BALMEDIE PITCHES

>> 20 April 2010

Gordon MSP Alex Salmond officially opened the new five-a-side pitches at Balmedie last Sunday, and presented local children with football equipment, including bibs, balls and cones, made available by the Scottish Football Association.

It was a return visit for Mr Salmond, who prior to the 2007 election, had been present to endorse the work of the Balmedie Youth and Community Regeneration project.

The pitches have been built on the site of former basketball and tennis courts. After taking the opinion of local young people, the facility has been converted to all weather football pitches, and equipped with third generation all-weather Astroturf which meets standards set by the Scottish Football Association.

After cutting the ribbon, Mr Salmond refereed the first official game of football on the newly opened pitches. Together with Aberdeen FC manager Mark McGhee, Mr Salmond later presented medals to the teams to commemorate the inauguration of the new facility.

Speaking afterwards, Mr Salmond said:

“It was a great pleasure to be able to return to Balmedie to open these football pitches. I’ve kept in close touch with developments since my first visit in 2007, and know that a lot of hard work and preparation has gone into turning these pitches into a resource that the whole community can value.

“I hope that the pitches, and the equipment which the SFA has kindly provided, will see local youngsters develop a lifelong love of sport. Who knows, having had the chance to impress Mark McGhee here today, maybe one day a few might even make it to professional rank themselves!”


SNP Gordon Westminster Candidate Richard Thomson, who was also present, added:

“This is a fantastic facility which Balmedie now has. I’m pleased to say that the artificial grass is a world away from the harsh artificial surfaces I used to play on a few years ago!

“Projects like this don’t come out of nowhere. It took a lot of work by the community to secure the funding needed to upgrade the pitches. I’d like to congratulate everyone involved, and hope that the example set by Balmedie will help inspire more communities in the future.”

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