K Park Training Academy
|Location||St Leonards, East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire|
|Owner||East Kilbride Community Trust|
|Surface||Third Generation synthetic pitches|
Opening of the facility and features
K Park opened in May 2011 by the East Kilbride Community Trust (EKCT), who had previously drawn up plans that would give the large town a top-quality, UEFA-standard sports facility. It is mainly Third Generation synthetic football pitches that are at the facility, used by local clubs and clubs from the Scottish Football League. The parks are also easily convertible for rugby training.
The pitches at K Park (of which there is one 11-a-side pitch and two 7-a-sides) are unusual, in that they consist of a mixture of quartz sand and rubber granules. This is to reduce the likelihood of an injury sustained or lower the impact of a fall, as well as allowing better ball control for the players that use the facility.
The K Park Training Academy has received numerous amounts of praise from many famous names, particularly in Scottish football. Former Rangers goalkeeper Andy Goram has stated that some clubs of the Scottish Premier League lack the facilities of K Park, and that its an ideal place to nurture young players. The football manager Walter Smith has spoken of the need for more facilities like the K Park to be built around Scotland, and clubs such as Clyde have used the facility for pre-season training, with manager Jim Duffy saying that it has all the requirements for his team.
Since the opening of the K Park in May 2011, it has been a place that many residents of East Kibride have attended regularly, due to the fact it provides amenities bringing a high level of health and well being to users. Due to K Park's increasing popularity, the EKCT have decided to press ahead with the next phase, which would include a Gym Area, an indoor multi-use area and public toilets. These are to be attached to the rare end of the changing area building.
Also, there is a new 400-seater stand under construction on the 11-a-side pitch, that will allow seating for spectators during matches.
The trust deemed these changes necessary since the average footfall to K Park is around 3,000 per week, a figure that is set to grow once the next phase of works are completed.
K Park will be used as the home ground for the newly formed football club East Kilbride, who were founded in 2010, one year before the facilities official opening. They will play their first league matches at the venue before relocating to a proposed site near Langlands Golf Course. The local rugby team East Kilbride RFC also train at the facility.
- "The Official Opening of K-Park Training Academy". East Kilbride Community Trust. Retrieved 5 July 2012.
- "McCoist to kick off the K-Park spectacular". K Park Official Website. 21 September 2011. Retrieved 5 July 2012.
- "K-Park will be envy of SPL clubs". K Park Official Website. 21 June 2011. Retrieved 5 July 2012.
- "Former Rangers manager says K-Park has that "Special K"". K Park Official Website. 12 September 2011. Retrieved 5 July 2012.
- "Football: Clyde to train in East Kilbride". Rutherglen Reformer. 4 July 2012. Retrieved 5 July 2012.
- "K-Park Training Academy – The Next Phase". K Park Official Website. 15 June 2012. Retrieved 5 July 2012.
- "Funding for the Stand at K-Park Training Academy". K Park Official Website. 15 June 2012. Retrieved 5 July 2012.
- "East Kilbride Football Club announces plans to bring senior football to East Kilbride.". K Park Official Website. 20 September 2012. Retrieved 20 September 2012.