RWE Dea and Lionsraw secure the long-term future of the Cleveland Juniors Football Club in Middlesbrough
Last Tuesday, the first sod of turf was turned for a new club house for the Cleveland Juniors Football Club in Middlesbrough in northern England. With support from RWE Dea, the Football Foundation and other sponsors, Lionsraw was able to collect a total of GBP 418,000. The club house and a lease will secure the future of the junior football club in the long term.
With this ground breaking event, the football movement and non-profit organisation Lionsraw has given the green light for the realisation of a project that will benefit the Cleveland Juniors Football Club. Construction of a new clubhouse in Middlesbrough in northern England began on 4 March. The building will replace the storage containers the children and the young football players have been using as changing rooms until now. The project is scheduled for completion in time for the start of the football season in August 2014. It is the first Legacy Project initiated by Lionsraw in the United Kingdom which has similar projects in South Africa and plans for Brazil.
“As an oil and gas company active in this region we are proud to support the Teesside community, in particular, Cleveland Juniors Football Club,” said Dirk Schöne, Managing Director RWE Dea UK. „The Lionsraw project is a great opportunity to make a sustainable contribution to the local community that will benefit children and youths in particular,” added Schöne.
RWE Dea produces gas for the British domestic market. In October last year, RWE Dea brought the Breagh gas field, located some 100 kilometres off Teesside, into production. The Breagh field gas flows through a pipeline to the coast at Coatham Sands near Teesside. It continues to a gas treatment facility in Teesside via an eleven-kilometre buried pipeline, and from there into the British gas grid.
RWE Dea had already pledged a contribution of GBP 50,000 in the early stages of the project, and this positive signal encouraged other sponsors to sign up as well. In addition to Lionsraw and RWE Dea, the Football Foundation, the Middlesbrough City Council, Sport England, PX Limited, Applied Integration and North Riding FA also came on board.
The Cleveland Juniors Football Club was established in 1985, and it has grown into the biggest junior football club in England’s north-east. 39 children who learned to play football with the Cleveland Juniors later turned professional. One of them is Adam Johnson, a member of the English national team. The club operates the only free football academy in England.
“Our late chairman, Frank Rush, dreamt that the club would be at the heart of our community,” said Michelle Rush of Cleveland Juniors. The project is intended to foster the club’s continued growth and ensure that it can continue to operate its ground-breaking free football academy and maintain its commitment towards the children and youths of Middlesbrough into the future.