Despite the snow, the official opening of the Ken Hogan Sports Pavilion in Overton took place as planned on January 18th.
The Pavilion was officially opened by Sir George Young, who paid tribute to the work of the late Ken Hogan, who had been Chairman of the Overton Recreation Centre, and was the driving force behind the Berrydown Project, where the pavilion is located. His widow, Karen Hogan, unveiled the plaque to commemorate the opening.
The project cost over half a million pounds, with the Football Foundation contributing £278,000, Sport England £50,000, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council £65,000, Overton Parish Council £52,000 and Overton Recreation Centre £110,000. The project was conceived in the late 1990s, and part of the land on which the Berrydown Sports Ground is located was donated by local landowner Richard Gibbins. Sir George said that Overton was one of the most athletic villages in his constituency, hosting a wide range of clubs. The Berrydown Project would enable athletics, football and cricket to expand, and the pavilion provided a first class base on the ground, about half a mile from the village centre.
Sir George paid tribute to the ORC volunteers who had helped with the project, but had also managed the ORC through some challenging times. "The current Chairman, Steve Williams, did a fantastic job in organising the event, and seeing the project through to completion."
Also at the event were the two local councillors, Paula Baker and Ian Tilbury.