Schools celebrate sport cash boost

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Two Houghton Regis schools are set for a major boost after gaining £30,000 each to develop new outdoor sports facilities.

Hawthorn Park Community Primary and Houghton Regis Primary were successful in funding bids after support from Central Bedfordshire Council.

The awards are part of Sport England’s £18million National Lottery-funded Primary School Facilities Fund, which is helping more schools to provide outdoor multi-activity play areas across the country.

The investment is designed to support those schools in the greatest need of facility improvements and will benefit both pupils at the schools and the local community, who will be able to use the sports facilities outside of school hours.

A similar award has been made to Husborne Crawley Lower School.

Cllr Mark Versallion, executive member for children’s services at Central Beds Council, said: “It’s excellent news that these three local schools have secured this funding.

“Having great play spaces is really important in encouraging our youngsters to keep physically active and enjoy sport. I look forward to seeing the finished projects in the months to come.”

Lindsey Johnson, headteacher at Hawthorn Park, said: “We are very excited to have secured funding as this will assist us with our commitment to high-quality PE, enhance our outdoor play space and give our pupils a super games space throughout the year.”

Jean Gamble, headteacher at Houghton Regis Primary, said: “We are very grateful to Sport England for selecting our bid for primary spaces funding to enhance our sporting facilities at the school.

“We will be able to provide a safe practice area for basketball, a practice shooting wall for football and an area to practise racket skills with the funding.

“We have sound evidence to show that the more the children can practise their sporting and P.E.skills the better their attitude towards school life.

“Children accessing sport are more able to cope with the ups and downs of life, have higher self-esteem and improved motivation to succeed.

“We are a ‘Values Education’ school and what better way to illustrate a value than through sport?”