West London is a little more blue this week after Chelsea Football Club teamed up with adidas to unveil the first of four 'Blue Pitches' with the aim of encouraging young Londoners to participate in grass roots sport.
The pitches are free to use to help get young people more active and make a real difference to local communities.
Football, basketball and tennis can all be played on the four all-weather pitches which can be found at four sites close to Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea Manager Luiz Felipe Scolari joined Chief Executive Peter Kenyon and midfield stars Frank Lampard and Michael Ballack to officially open the first site in Battersea.
Peter commented: "The Blue Pitches are state of the art facilities where youngsters, regardless of age or ability, can meet up and play for free. I know that all the Blue Pitches will be a really welcome and needed addition to the local communities ".
All four pitches are, of course, blue in colour, inspired by the ‘Reflex’ blue in the Chelsea kit and are made from a high specification astro turf - a replica of a natural grass surface.
The pitches will be used as key locations for Chelsea’s ‘Football In The Community’ programme, which provides sporting opportunities for local young people whilst tackling issues such as crime, gangs and anti social behaviour.
Luiz Felipe Scolari, Frank Lampard and Michael Ballack all travelled to Battersea after training on Thursday. There they joined chief executive Peter Kenyon in formally opening the all-weather pitches which can be used for basketball and tennis in addition to football.
Lampard and Ballack were soon doing what they do best, demonstrating the surface's suitability for football and taking an active part in a coaching session with local young people.
'Personally I was very fortunate where I grew up in that I had places like parks to play football time and time again,' said Lampard after finishing the session.
'Maybe those sort of facilities have not been there for some kids but with these four new pitches, and the publicity Chelsea and adidas being involved will give them, hopefully it will get kids down here playing sport instead other things they could be doing. That is beneficial to everyone.'
Local schools will also have the opportunity to benefit from after school coaching sessions and training days. Not only will local coaches be encouraged to attend the sites to spot talent and encourage them to join local clubs and sporting organisations.
'It is very important for Chelsea, for adidas, for the players with these boys,' Scolari added, joking that he had sent Lampard and Ballack out with specific instructions to scout for new talent in the coaching session.