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March 31st, 2011 - 全tate of the Art' Sports Facility opened by Sir Trevor Brooking
Professional Cricketer - David Wigley
Professional Footballers - Aiden White, Niall Canavan, Tom Taiwo, Luke Hendrie and Jordan Sinnott
Ex professional footballer and now broadcaster John Hendrie
Sir Trevor was full of praise for St. Mary's and the new facility, "St. Mary's is an outstanding Sports College where excellence and inclusion in sport go hand in hand with excellent academic results and high achievement in music and the arts. Sport has the potential to add so much to a person's all-round education. The new pitch at St. Mary's is tremendous and David Geldart and his team deserve great credit for their determination and perseverance for making it a reality. The school has excellent links with the community and with its partner football clubs who will benefit enormously from the facility. It is a great honour for me to formally open this excellent facility."
The new Artificial Turf Pitch forms part of a £750,000 investment in sport at the school which will also see all remaining grass pitches drained to a high standard.
The new facilities are a fantastic boost for St. Mary's and the wider sporting community, particularly the school's partner clubs of Guiseley Juniors FC, Menston Juniors FC and Burley Trojans FC.
The project was part funded with the help of a £325,000 grant from the Football Foundation. Funded by the Premier League, the FA and the Government via Sport England, the Football Foundation is the nation's largest sports charity. Launched in July 2000, the Foundation celebrated its tenth anniversary last year and has so far supported around 8,000 community sports projects worth £945m.
Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation said, "We are delighted that St. Mary's and the local community will have access to these fantastic new facilities and commend the school and the County FA for all their hard work in making this happen."
The fruition of the project is a dream come true for Assistant Headteacher David Geldart who has campaigned for such a facility at St. Mary's for over ten years. "I am delighted with the new facilities, they are everything that we ever hoped for and they are no less than the school and the wider community deserve." Barnes, School Governor who have been extremely supportive of myself and instrumental in making the project happen. Together we overcame every obstacle."
Following a reception and speeches in the school's Main Hall, invited guests went onto the pitch which was blessed by Father O'Connor and then formally opened by Sir Trevor Brooking.Click here to see all photographs from this report
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