24 September 2010

An opening ceremony will be held at Thomas Becket Catholic School next week to mark the completion and official opening of the school's new all-weather sports pitch.

English Premiership referee Peter Walton will officially open the pitch on Monday morning (27 SEPT).

Northamptonshire County Council’s cabinet member for children and young people, Councillor Andrew Grant will be present along with representatives from the local community, Northampton Town Football Club and local junior football clubs.

The FIFA-approved artificial grass surface is suitable for a wide range of sports and identical to those installed at training facilities of top European sports clubs such as Tottenham Hotspur FC and German Bundesliga club Wolfsburg.

In addition to the new pitch, a new long jump and triple jump pit has been constructed and a large area of the school’s playing field has been re-modelled and re-landscaped to provide the school with more useable and better quality space for other sporting activities.

John Paver, the school’s Director of Specialism [Sport], said "Thanks to the county council we have an excellent all-weather surface, top quality long and triple jump pits, a full size athletics track and grass pitches for all sports and all age groups. As a sports college this is a great boost for our students and community".

He added: "It has taken us several years to achieve our goals in respect of developing our sports facilities. We are very grateful to the county council for their help, support and for funding these initiatives".

The facilities will be used by a range of community partners. Several sports festivals have been booked on behalf of feeder primary schools while local clubs will use the pitch for evening training sessions, including NTFC Ladies Centre of Excellence, Gregory Celtic FC, Thorplands FC, Parklands Tigers FC and Billing United FC.

During holidays and week-ends, training camps and activity clubs such as Manchester United soccer schools will be making full use of the new pitch.