Tracey recently launched K Sports, a new and exciting model for sport, business, education and vocational opportunity in the community.
The former Cobdown Sports and Social Club site at Ditton is in the process of being transformed into a high-quality centre of excellence for a range of sports, although the main focus will be to provide a community facility for sports enthusiasts of all ages and abilities.
The new management team is investing heavily in upgrading the existing facilities for football, hockey and squash. A gymnasium is being added, plus a dance studio and new changing rooms.
Work has already begun at the attractive, tree-lined, 28-acre site, with the clubhouse bar and function suite the first to be refurbished.
The formal launch of K Sports took place on Friday 3rd June 2016. Tracey welcomed former England football manager Peter Taylor, plus other well known faces from the sporting world, to the site for this event.
Alan Dennington, the new Chief Executive, is experienced in project development at both Gillingham and Charlton Athletic football clubs.
He said: “The vision for the K Sports project is to increase participation across a range of sports, fostering and encouraging excellence, alongside supporting academic achievement and vocational learning. It will also become a fantastic family venue.”
A phenomenal amount of work has gone on behind the scenes to reach this point and Mr Dennington added:
“K Sports has set about developing a strategic investment plan to redevelop the site.
“With this now in place, K Sports will be transformed into one of the most modern and well constructed sports facilities in the south east. The club will provide a fantastic platform for sport, and for families in particular. We all want to see happy, healthy children enjoying their chosen sports, and we intend to work in partnership with education and the business community to provide a wide range of vocational opportunities. One of our main targets is to train up the future generation of sports coaches to improve access to sport throughout the community.”
Facilities will include:
· A floodlit stadia-style 3G playing surface for football
· A floodlit sand-dressed surface for hockey, netball and other sports
· Improvement of the grass pitches
· Upgrading the clubhouse to provide a warm and welcoming social atmosphere, incorporating excellent bar facilities, function suite and a high quality restaurant
· Construction of five new squash courts, including a glass show court for major international events
· The addition of six new changing rooms for teams and officials
· A new gym and health area.
· Special function rooms available for hire
At the end of 2015 Marpaul Holdings Limited took over the facilities previously known as Cobdown Sports and Social Club. Following a branding exercise, the operating division is now K Sports Management Limited, ‘K Sports’.
Mr Dennington added: “The new Artificial Grass Pitches (AGPs) will be hired out to local teams and community groups from Monday to Friday and used for matches and training at the weekend.
“The clubhouse, function suite and plans for a new restaurant will complement all sports sections and will be available for hire to the wider community.
“The K Sports target is to be ready for the start of the 2016-17 season, and we look forward to offering a warm welcome to friends old and new.
Tracey said: “As both Sports Minister and local MP, I am delighted to be here to launch K Sport Centre today. This is a huge opportunity for community sport here in Aylesford and I look forward to supporting its work and seeing the community make use of the many fantastic facilities the centre will be offering.”