The New Multi use Games area (MUGA) at the Memorial Playing Field
The Multi Use Games Area is the most recent of the ongoing improvements at the Memorial Playing field. The MPF is an important asset within the parish both for the excellent sporting and recreational facilities and for its beautiful open space and views. The field provided the perfect setting for the Parish as it celebrated the 2012 Diamond Jubilee. The Parish Council acquired the land for the memorial field thanks the generosity of a local landowner after the Second World War. The area is now leased by CSPC to Compton and Shawford Sports Club and regularly used by the thriving football, cricket and tennis clubs. The sports club and the Parish Council work closely together to provide facilities not only for members but for the whole community. The MUGA is an example of a facility provided for everyone to enjoy and is already open for use.
MUGAs are by definition ‘enclosed areas with a hard surface, for playing sports such as five-a-side football or basketball’. They are fenced and have line markings for several ball games, and are fitted with nets and goals. The idea of constructing one at the MPF has been considered for some time, and became possible through the use of Winchester City Council Open space funding. Construction started in autumn 2013 and the project was completed in February. The all-weather surface has been designed to drain quickly and easily even after the recent heavy rain. It is hoped that the MUGA will be accessible and enjoyed by everyone in the community. Extra paths leading up to and around the court have been added, and viewing made easier by the provision of two benches and a spectator rail. The area to the north and east of the court will be seeded with grass and wild flowers to create a natural wildlife habitat.
Further improvements to the MPF include upgrading the cricket nets, making them all-weather and vermin proof, and upgrading the memorial walkway through the trees by planting bulbs and providing a map board similar to the one at the foot of Shawford Down. We will be holding an open meeting in the near future to discuss the provision of gym equipment on the field and a request for golf nets.
The MUGA has been developed in the spirit of the Olympic legacy and in that spirit the Parish Council has invited representatives of our local Olympic volunteers to officially open the court on Friday April 4th at 4pm. We will be joined by Steve Brine MP, and welcome children and parents from the local schools. We hope that as many people from the community as possible come along and enjoy the opening, followed by tea and cakes in the pavilion. Finally, ‘the MUGA’ is not an ideal name and a competition has been launched to re-name the pitch in time for the official opening.
Reprinted from the March 2014 Parish Magazine