Friday, 03 December 2021

£38,000 artificial pitch appeal

PARENTS and staff at Whitchurch Primary School are aiming to raise £38,000 for a new artificial pitch.

The existing one was installed in 2008 following a similar appeal but must now be replaced as it was only meant to last a decade.

Its lifespan has been extended through twice-yearly maintenance but eventually the surface will become so slippery that it is no longer safe.

The parent-teacher association is encouraging donations through the GoFundMe website and these will be supplemented by proceeds from online events held during lockdown.

It hopes to hit its target by the summer so the new pitch can be installed at the school in Eastfield Lane before the next academic year. The pitch will be used for football, netball, cricket, tennis, rugby, athletics and general fitness sessions, both as part of the physical education curriculum and during after school clubs and playtimes.

A plaque detailing the name of every donor could be installed beside it.

Gavin Jones, the  school’s sports co-ordinator, said: “Since the original installation in 2008, the pitch has become an essential part of life at school and used in a wide variety of ways, enabling the children to access a safe outside space all-year round.  

“It has allowed sport at to grow beyond all expectations as the school has won 240 inter-school tournaments across 14 different sports, including 29 county titles. The surface was expected to last 10 years and the fact that we have extended its life by a further three is testament to our good husbandry.

“However, it is now showing significant signs of wear, which is having an impact on both its performance and the maintenance costs.

“We thank all donors in advance for their contribution to this cause, which means so much to us.”

Association chairwoman Elaine Mullins said: “The existing pitch is still usable but needs replacing so that our children can continue going out and being active. Given the year we’ve just had, it’s more important than ever to see children happy and active.”

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