A new sports activity space for Lambeth residents was launched in Brixton today. David Moftakhar paid a visit to find out more.
Today sees the opening of Pop Fields – a multipurpose space adjoining Pop Brixton on Brixton Station Road which will screen this summer’s sporting events and be available for use for free by local schools and community groups.
Pop Fields features a 16x10ft screen and an astroturf pitch. During evenings and weekends it will play host to live coverage of EURO 2016, the Rio Olympics, Wimbledon and the Tour de France, but the daytime will see the venue reserved for local schools and groups to host tournaments, fundraising events and fitness activities at no cost.
A number of groups have already signed up to make use of the facilities including Afewee Football & Boxing Club, Better Multisport and Cage Cricket. Local schools St Jude’s, Hill Mead, Clapham Manor and Jessops will also use the venue and organisers remain open to further enquiries.
Players from Afewee Football Academy took to the astroturf for Wednesday’s preview event along with a cheerleading troupe from over-45’s wellbeing and fitness charity Silver Fit. Afewee Club Secretary Peter Armstrong was clear on the benefits of Pop Fields for young people in the area:
“It’s convenient being so close to Brixton Rec – we’ll be running a five-week summer programme and utlising the space for fundraising activities.
“What’s most important though is that it makes kids feel part of this. Local kids born and brought up in Brixton walk past a place like Pop Brixton and think ‘That isn’t for us’. This changes that.”
While during the day the venue will be a hive of sporting activity, in evening it will transform to accommodate a more observational capacity.
Benches will seat more than 200 people with a total capacity of 600. The space will be flanked by two bars, the Spectator and Freight and Narrow – a collaboration between Brixton Brewery and the Landor in Clapham.
Situated on what was the Canterbury Arms, the site is owned by property development company May Developments who have allowed free use of the land and funded the project build.