The new sporting centre for the Bournemouth community is fit for international tournaments and Premier League footballers!
The fantastic new facility at the LeAF Academy was ‘kicked-off’ by AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe when he officially declared the centre open. This brand new, purpose-built sports centre will not only cater for the developing athletes who study at the LeAF Studio and the children of its sister schools, Oak and Elm Academies, but it will also be used by a wide-range of local organisations, including the Cherries themselves.
AFC Bournemouth has become official partners with LeAF and its first team has used the sports hall during winter conditions. They also release their academy players to the school and use LeAF’s sport facilities, including the strength and conditioning gym.
At the official opening, Eddie Howe, said, “We have used this centre and we were not only really impressed with the facilities but also the warm welcome we received from staff and students at LeAF.
“Sport and education go hand-in-hand and the more we can get young people active the better it is for the world.
“The people here at LeAF clearly care about the students. Young people deserve every chance in life and that’s only going to happen with people like that supporting them.”
The Multi-Sports Centre is attracting prestigious sporting tournaments and is already used by Volleyball England for training. At 27m by 60m and with a 13m high roof, the hall is large enough to stage international events for a variety of different sports such as volleyball, handball, futsal, basketball, football and netball. It can also hold a maximum of 1,000 spectators, which makes it suitable for use as a mini arena or flexible performance space.
Executive principal of the LeAF Academy, Gill Blanshard, said, “We were delighted that Eddie Howe could take time out of his busy schedule to officially open our new multi-sports centre.
“This building opens up many exciting opportunities not only for us and professional sports bodies but also for the wider community.
“We want to open the doors of the centre to everyone and invite local sporting organisations to be a part of this fantastic new facility.”
LeAF Academy is home to the LeAF Studio for elite athletes and performers aged 14-19, Oak Academy (students aged 11-19) and Elm Academy (students aged 4-11).
As well as this new multi-sports centre, the campus is also home to the UK’s only indoor beach volleyball centre.