An artificial football pitch has been opened in the city of Jurmala by the Latvian Football Federation (LFF) thanks to funding from the second cycle of UEFA's HatTrick assistance programme.
The pitch at the Kauguri high school was donated by the LFF as a gift to the city of Jurmala and is the first full-sized artificial football field to be built in Latvia. Earlier this year the implementation of HatTrick-funded projects resulted in the signature of contracts with the cities of Daugavpils, Rezekne, Preili, Zilupe, Ogre and Riga for the installation of artificial pitches. In total, the LFF plans to build about 17 large-size artificial pitches throughout the country in 2011.
UEFA HatTrick funding previously helped the LFF with the construction of a training centre in Riga for national youth teams. Including two floodlit artificial training surfaces, the complex also provided facilities for coaches and referees.
Since the HatTrick scheme was launched in 2003, it has bolstered Europe's national associations in their efforts to improve and upgrade their infrastructural, administrative, managerial and sporting environments.
The second cycle of the programme, running from 2008 to 2012, has had a budget of almost €450m, with each national FA entitled to a maximum €1.3m a year in solidarity payments – €500,000 to cover running costs with a further €800,000 available for UEFA development and incentive projects. Associations may also receive grants of up to €2.5m from the single investment programme.
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