Charlie helps pupils shoot for the stars

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Premier League star Charlie Adam swapped his football boots for the basketball court for the unveiling of Garstang High School’s new multi-million pound sports complex.

The Blackpool FC captain took time out of his training to shoot a few hoops with delighted pupils – though his court ability didn’t quite live up to his skills on the pitch.

The Seasiders hero also spent time signing autographs and posing for photographs.

Adam, 25, who has scored four goals since the club’s promotion to the top flight, was impressed with the school’s facilities and said he hoped it would inspire more youngsters to get involved in sports.

He said: “It is a fantastic facility.

“So many kids these days spend hours on computers, when I was growing up it was always about sports, and to have somewhere like this to train is such an opportunity.

“It is really important for kids to play and enjoy sports.”

The event, last Thursday, marked the completion of the £2million sports hall, which has taken a year to build and has involved the efforts of the school and wider community.

More than £40,000 of the development’s cost was raised through sponsorship and fundraising, and it is hoped the state-of-the-art facility will become a hub for community sport.

The facility includes a large gym equipped with courts for indoor activities, a multi-function dance studio, changing and shower facilities and teaching area.

Headteacher Phil Birch said: “Ever since I came here, I was aware we needed to improve our sports provision, and now we have this wonderful facility, which will not only transform the lives of our pupils now, but for generations to come.

“We want to make this place a sporting hub, to inspire people to get involved with sports and the ideas of healthy living and by encouraging groups from a wide sector of sports.”

Chairman of governors Tom Ibison added: “We have been fighting for this for the last 20 years and now it is here, it is just unbelievable.

“The difference it will make for the school and the whole community is amazing – it is a massive day for me, the staff and governors.”