On Friday 29th January, Abbey Gate College welcomed four sporting superstars to launch the next phase of the major developments to the sports provision at the senior school site in Saighton.
Former England footballer Michael Owen, who is patron of the fundraising committee, was accompanied by Britain’s greatest-ever female gymnast, Beth Tweddle, Phil Roper who is a member of the GB Hockey Team and Andrew Small who achieved a bronze medal in the T33 100m sprint in Rio 2016.
Guests at the event heard Headmistress Tracy Pollard outline the sporting vision of the college and launch the next phase of the fund-raising efforts. Tracey made reference to the benefits that sport can bring to students of all levels of ability and said: “Today marks an important point in our journey at Abbey Gate College in creating even better sporting facilities for the benefit of all our pupils, from the very youngest in Foundation Stage to the oldest in the Sixth Form.”
“Our desire and vision is to extend the provision of sport for all age groups, all year round and to create a culture of being active, healthy and happy,” added Tracey.
The school opened a new teaching and sport pavilion in June 2016 which provides the college with modern changing areas and showering facilities, a valuable multi-purpose teaching and activites space, and a state-of-the-art cardio-vascular gymnasium. It also has a kitchen and gives the college a community space, which has promoted the college’s commitment to the benefit of physical and mental wellbeing through sport. After the success of the new facilities, the college’s development committee are now aiming to raise funds to build an all-weather playing surface that will benefit all students at the college, as well as members of the local community.
The college boasts a number of alumni who have gone on to play sport at the highest levels, including football, sailing, equestrian, triathlon, rugby, rowing and netball. At the event, the college staff, students and alumni present mixed with the guests and discussed how college had provided opportunities for students to develop as elite sportsmen and women and how the new pitch would help students who have similar ambitions.
Abbey Gate College celebrates its 40th anniversary from September 2017, and as the longest-running co-educational independent schools in the Chester area, it continues to make significant financial investment so all students can achieve their full potential.