Giving pupils a sporting chance

Andrew Selous helps launch the new sports area at Hawthorn Park Primary School
Andrew Selous helps launch the new sports area at Hawthorn Park Primary School

Pupils at a Houghton Regis Primary school have celebrated the official opening of their new outdoor multi-sports area.

Hawthorn Park Primary School received a grant worth £30,000 to improve sports facilities at the school in Parkside Drive.

The money came as part of Sport England’s £18million lottery funded programme to improve primary play facilities across the country.

Hawthorn Park received backing from Central Beds Council to submit its application, which was approved in June last year. On Friday the court was officially opened by South West Beds MP Andrew Selous.

Since it was built, pupils have been taking full advantage of the colourful outdoor court, which can be used for everything from basketball and football to hockey and cricket.

Headteacher Lindsey Johnson said: “We are delighted with our new outdoor area. Pupils at Hawthorn Park love PE and sport and have been having great fun on the new area. It will help us promote healthy lifestyles and physical activity.”

Councillor Mark Versallion said: “I’m delighted that pupils have been enjoying the new outdoor area, as it has obviously made a huge difference to sport and outdoor play at the school. Having great play spaces is really important if we want to get children interested in sport and physically active, and this is proof that this really does work.”

Mike Diaper, of Sport England, said: “When launching this fund, we knew there were currently many primary schools had little or no suitable outdoor space for PE or sport, making it difficult for teachers to deliver exciting and engaging lessons.

“That is why this funding is so important because it gives young people the right places to play sport and be physically active which is crucial to their development.

“By giving children the space to take part in PE and play sport from an early age, we can help them establish a lifelong sporting habit that will also help them lead them to living healthy lifestyles.”