The Newton Poppleford community came out in force on Saturday, February 10 to celebrate the reopening of the village’s Multi Use Games Area (MUGA).

The facility was destroyed by the flash floods that hit the village in May 2023 but has now been brought back into use by the MUGA working party.

Sidmouth Herald: Jenna Markham and Grecian from Exeter City FC

The official opening was carried out by the chair of Newton Poppleford & Harpford Parish Council, Susan Tribble, along with Exeter City Women player Jenna Markham. Exeter City’s mascot Grecian the Lion also attended.

Sidmouth Herald: Local residents at the opening of the MUGA

Activities were held on the newly reopened pitch including a penalty shoot-out, a Mums vs Girls match and Girls vs Boys match. There was also a raffle, with prizes donated by Exeter City FC, to raise funds for floodlights that will enable the MUGA to be used during the dark winter evenings. The Newton Poppleford Community Café, which opens weekly on Saturdays, supported the event by extending its opening hours and providing refreshments.

Members of the MUGA working party have been working with the village primary school to encourage the pupils to use the space and look after it. The children were invited to create posters showing how people should use the games area safely and responsibly, and these were displayed during the opening event.

Sidmouth Herald: One of the posters designed by local children

The MUGA is a community space for local residents to use daily, but is also available for hire by local football, netball or other active clubs. Further information can be found on the Newton Poppleford MUGA Facebook page.