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High praise for Philips High School’s refurbished sports centre
5:09pm Thursday 26th September 2013 in News
MORE than 4,000 people from across the borough have already reaped the benefits of a revamped Whitefield sports centre.
And the extension is also allowing Philips High to extend its sporting credentials, says headteacher Chris Trees.
The official opening of the centre, based at the school, off Higher Lane, was performed by deputy mayor, councillor Joan Grimshaw.
The school used to have two sports pitches and building work began last September on a £750,000 extension to add another indoor area, which opened in March.
The work was funded by Ball Hall Sports Management in an arrangement with the school which means pupils can use the sports areas during the day and clubs and individuals can pay to visit during evenings and weekends.
Sedgley Park Rugby Union Club and Salford Reds Rugby League Club’s academy train there.
Mr Trees said: “Before the extension, half of a year group would have to go outside and half inside. Now we’ve got more room and can be more flexible with lessons.
“We’ve held basketball and netball matches there against teams from other schools and, when guests arrive to see the new facilities, their first reaction is ‘wow’.”
He added: “I definitely think it will help persuade parents of sports-loving children to send their children here in future and, generally, it is good for the borough.
“People come here to play basketball, netball, volleyball, football, rugby union and can join in with a range of health-related classes too. We’ve even got a new weights room. The facilities are first class.”
Ball Hall Sports Management intends to add a fourth court sport in future years if there is a demand from sports teams renting space out.
Cllr Grimshaw said: “It’s fantastic. It’s brilliant for Bury.
“Everyone can use it and it’s an asset.
“The children doing sports demonstrations at the ceremony did their school proud.”
Mr Trees praised the school’s director of sports development Greg Davies for his work on the extension project.
He added: “Mr Davies has given a considerable amount of his own time and energy. He has brought in clubs and coaches so that pupils and the community are provided with high-quality coaching across a range of sports.”
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