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£3.8m Sports Hall Appeal events

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5.12.17: Sporting heroes launch Guildford County School’s £3.8m Sports Hall Appeal to secure a fit-for-purpose facility for students and community

Race to replace oversubscribed secondary school’s dilapidated 1970s sports hall, less than half minimum recommended size, as student numbers increase and community demand grows

Students and staff were joined by sporting heroes Olympian 400m sprinter Roger Black MBE, GB and England hockey player Dan Fox and England Under-21 and Surrey Storm netball shooter Rhea Dixon today in support of efforts to raise £3.8m to upgrade inadequate sports facilities at Guildford County School.

Planning permission was granted by Guildford Borough Council this September for the school’s plan to demolish and upgrade its undersized sports building, which is close to 40 years old with deteriorating mortar and low ceilings. Guildford County School (GCS) aims to provide its students with a new full-size sports hall with improved changing space, a multi-gym/fitness area, small dance studio, storage and spectator area.

The new facilities will allow the school to accommodate more of the sport curriculum on its Farnham Road site, significantly improving its sports provision (including basketball, badminton, indoor hockey, trampolining, rowing and futsal) and safety of play on-site.

Jack Mayhew, Headteacher said, “Our current facility is more than past its sell-by date and is simply not fit-for-purpose. A new inspiring sports hall will benefit both our students and our community sport clubs. But we can only deliver this vital school facility with the timely support of our community, charitable trusts and the Education Funding Agency.”

With student numbers at GCS rising by 20 students per year from this September as part of the school’s admissions expansion supported by Surrey County Council, overcrowding issues with the old sports hall are now escalating. GCS remains the most oversubscribed school in the area.

“We’re spending thousands each year on external hire and coach expenses just to teach the basic sport curriculum, while many community sports teams are crying out for more sports hall space. This is an unmissable opportunity to provide an accessible city-centre sport venue, while boosting the daily sport experience of generations of our 11-18 year olds,” said Mayhew.

Roger Black said, ‘In this era of increasing childhood obesity and a teenage drop-off into inactivity, access to decent sport facilities is more important than ever. It’s clearly time for a fit-for-purpose sports hall at Guildford County School. I’m delighted to back this Appeal and encourage our community to support it”.

Dan Fox said, “School sport participation improves confidence, teaches teamwork skills and can establish positive physical habits for life. I hope everyone will get involved and support this brilliant project to provide a better sporting start for local children.”

Rhea Dixon said, “Children of all ages should be able to develop and compete in a range of sports and enjoy access to fit-for-purpose sports facilities. Let’s inspire the Surrey Storm netball players of the future!”

The school’s current sports hall – at less than half the recommended minimum size - limits access and enjoyment across the ability and sport range, risks injury, compromises teaching time and limits the school’s ability to compete. The school aims to raise £100 000 by July 2018 through direct fundraising and sponsorship, in addition to securing vital funding from the Education Funding Agency, Sport England, National Governing Bodies of sport and charitable trusts. The parent-run Friends of Guildford County School organisation has already raised £5000 towards a new facility. Last week, it raised a further £840 with a Silent Auction at the school’s Christmas Fair, enjoying the support of many local businesses.

Please donate to the GCS Sports Hall Appeal via BTMyDonate (charity name: Guildford County School) https://mydonate.bt.com/charities/guildfordcountyschool or visit www.guildfordcounty.co.uk to find out more.

Event dates for your diary:

11th March - Surrey Half Marathon - run in aid of our Sports Hall Appeal and enjoy a 20% discount on your entry fee with code GCS2018

12th May - Funk NIght with sporting Silent Auction

Check back for other fundraising events coming soon - a 24-hour Student Sport-a-thon is being planned for 2018! Or Parents Sports Day, anyone?!

To offer your support, please contact Claudia Drake,cdrake@guildfordcounty.co.uk or tel 01483 504089.

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