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A number of high-profile ex-footballers visited Barclays Spaces for Sports sites to promote their usage and Barclays commitment to invest in both community and professional sport ahead of some mouth watering fixtures in the Barclays Premier League at the weekend.

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It's important sites like this continue to deliver the benefits that playing competitive sport can bring.
Glenn Hoddle, Spurs legend

Spurs legend Glenn Hoddle was at the White Hart Lane Community Sports Centre ahead of Tottenham Hotspur’s top of the table clash against Barclays Premier League leaders Manchester United on Sunday. He was joined by former Manchester United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel at the Tottenham flagship site to watch local youngsters making the most of facilities just a few miles from the stadium at White Hart Lane.

Former stars also visited three other Barclays Spaces for Sports sites today in the build-up to high-profile derby games. The ex-Aston Villa star Dion Dublin visited the Aston Villa flagship site, ahead of the Second City Derby between Aston Villa and Birmingham City. Former Liverpool player Dietmar Hamann visited the Liverpool flagship site ahead of the Merseyside Derby between Liverpool and Everton, while former Newcastle and Sunderland player Chris Waddle was at the Sunderland flagship site before the Tyne-Wear Derby. All were promoting Barclays involvement with grassroots sport and the Barclays Premier League through a series of media interviews.

The visits coincided with Barclays and partners the Football Foundation putting in place further plans this year to support the long term sustainability of the 200 Spaces for Sports sites across the UK. This includes the appointment of regional activity and sustainability advisors to provide specific advice and support to sites according to their needs.

Each of these flagship sites was created thanks to £600,000 funding split equally between Barclays and the Football Foundation, creating state-of-the-art facilities in disadvantaged areas that cater for a range of sports.

Former Tottenham player Hoddle said: “I think it’s great that with support from Barclays Spaces for Sports and the Football Foundation an investment has been made in a community where there is little else in the way of facilities. It’s important sites like this continue to deliver the benefits that playing competitive sport can bring.”

Kirk Harrison, Head - Barclays Spaces for Sports, said: “A key part of our commitment through Barclays Spaces for Sports was to deliver a lasting legacy to communities through use of our sites. We’ve been working closely with the Football Foundation throughout the programme to achieve this, and we believe the appointment of regional activity and sustainability advisors which we’ve just announced will help deliver tailored support to those sites that need it.”

Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “The challenge is to ensure that every one of the 200 sites enjoys extensive and proper usage, remains sustainable and provides a lasting legacy for the community, which is something that the Foundation is working hard with Barclays to deliver. This enduring partnership between Barclays and the Football Foundation continues to be the most ground breaking and innovative grassroots, community sports programme, which is delivering multi-sports opportunities to some of the most deprived communities in the country.”

Gary Broadhurst, Community Development Manager at the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation which delivers activities at the site, said: “The Tottenham Hotspur Foundation delivers a wide range of innovative programmes in the borough of Haringey – many of which would not be possible without the Spaces for Sports site at the White Hart Lane Community Sports Centre.

From mini soccer development sessions to disability specific and football based college and education programmes, the facility is in the heart of the local community and is regularly used by people from the local community with over 800 local young people accessing the site through programmes delivered by the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation each week.”

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