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Gareth Bale opened a brand new sports facility in Palmers Green, Enfield, on Tuesday alongside Mayor Cllr Don Delman.

Gareth Bale opened a brand new sports facility in Palmers Green, Enfield, on Tuesday alongside Mayor Cllr Don Delman.

Hazelwood & St Anne’s Playing Field and Sports Facility has been renovated thanks to a £350,000 grant from the Big Lottery Fund.

The new site includes a building with changing rooms, toilets, and storage space, and will be used by local schools Hazelwood Infants, Hazelwood Juniors, and St Anne’s Catholic School for Girls.

Around 630 pupils from all three schools were in attendance at the opening, where Gareth cut the ribbon alongside Mayor Delman.

As part of the ceremony, pupils sang songs and watched as Tottenham Hotspur’s record-breaking ‘Football Freestyler’ Billy Wingrove performed his wide range of tricks.

And Gareth, the youngest player ever to be capped by Wales, knows the importance of sports in schools only too well.

He said: “Facilities like this are very important because it gives young people a safe environment in which to play sport and keeps them away from a negative lifestyle.

“This sports facility can help young people in later life and give them the perfect start to a career in sport should they want to pursue it.

“The sport I played in school was very important in my career progression because it gave me a lot of practice. My target was to be a professional footballer and I achieved that goal, so I think opening a place like this is a good idea.”

Cllr Glynis Vince, cabinet member for education, children’s service and youth added: "This sports facility places the three schools at the heart of the community where they will play a central role in providing access to PE and sport making a vital contribution to the well-being and health of the local community.”

Tuesday’s event was supported by the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, which runs a Schools Programme throughout the Borough of Enfield, assisting children with their PE curriculum and allowing teachers to take their appropriate Planning, Preparation and Assessment (PPA) time.