Arbroath’s local sports teams have been invited to use the brand new £500,000 3G astro pitch launched at RM Condor on Tuesday.
Royal Marines at 45 Commando have opened their gates to Arbroath Football Club and Rugby Club, amongst others, to take advantage of the state of the art new facilities.
The grass made from artificial ‘blades’ is supported by a base shockpad, sand and rubber crumb providing a top of the range surface for all-year-round training.
Enhanced by floodlighting the facilities have put paid to early Scottish nights and will allow the marines and local teams to train whenever they want.
“It’s fantastic, there’s nothing else like this in Arbroath. It’s first class, the best surface we’ve seen,” said John Christison, Chairman of Arbroath Football Club, “now all we’ve got to worry about is getting a space in the schedule!”
As well as investing in facilities to keep the marines fit and happy the new pitches provides a valuable link between the local community and the base.
Commanding Officer of 45 Commando Group, Lieutenant Colonel Dan Cheeseman MBE RM is keen to ensure links between the community and the base are as fluid as possible.
He said: “The thing that I have been absolutely keen to point out from the outset with this project is, there should be as much connection with the local community as possible, the football community, the rugby community and the
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FROM FRONT PAGE
boxing community as well as others.
“There are always limitations to what we we can do; Condor is a very busy place and it’s got a very big fence around it, so we can’t just let everybody on all the time but within reason, sporting clubs and schools with appropriate relationships and bits of paper, will be open to use as much as possible.”
Former Royal Marine and current player/treasurer at Arbroath Rugby club, Colin Bedwell said: “The guys will come down from the accommodation and train with us on a Thursday night so I think relations are good due to sport.
“They all go out on a Friday night now. Half the team are servicemen so they all mingle together. The good thing is the Condor lads look out for the Arbroath lads and vice versa.”
Leiths (Scotland) Ltd replaced the 15-year-old, worn out 2G pitch with the 3G pitch and despite a few niggles with communication cables and waterlogged ground, completed the project within a four month schedule.
Overseeing the project was Nicholas Constantine DIO Manager Estates Facilities Scotland said: “They’ve now got something they can use round the clock, floodlights, a pitch that won’t water log. It’s the ultimate in surfaces. It’s top of the league and it’s what they deserve.”
Moving forward there are plans for joint football matches between Arbroath and the 45 team as well as friendly matches and youth training.
RM Condor also has a dry ski slope and gliding centre, with both facilities being open to local groups.