New yards miles better for sport

Jumping for joy at the installation of their new sports yard at St Cecilia's School, these teams are  also celebrating ssporting successes during the year.
Jumping for joy at the installation of their new sports yard at St Cecilia's School, these teams are also celebrating ssporting successes during the year.

With a history of professionals who have been pupils at St Cecilia’s in Longridge, the school is not unfamiliar with sporting success.

Past students with a high sporting profile include Gary and Alan Kelly, Republic of Ireland Footballers, Will Hayhurst a regular on the team sheet at Preston North End, Andrew Lonergan at Bolton FC, Stephanie Slater British Paralympics Swimming and Andrew Miller professional cricketer,for Warwickshire and Sussex.

To further help develop sport and fitness within the school, the Salford Diocese approved a capital projects bid to resurface and upgrade both yards at the school. The new surfaces will improve teaching and training capacity and allow the school to host a variety of sports tournaments and competitions.

“We are very proud of our sport success at St Cecilia’s” says Sarah Bethwaite, head of PE.

“We have a lot of budding talent within our existing pupils, several playing at county and national level.

“We offer a wide choice of sport for our students and we have many trophies on display in our school reception showcasing our achievements.

“Our tournament success includes U13,U14,U16 football in the Preston School Cup at PNE for girls and boys, 
with the girls having won the Preston Cup for the last two years.”

The PE department also takes teams further afield and last year the school won football and netball tournaments in Barcelona.

Closer to home the netball teams entered the Boreatton Park tournament weekend in Shropshire and returned home with gold and silver medals. 
The school has five netball teams currently competing in the Leyland Netball Association league and the year 8s were league champions last season. The Year 9 netball team also qualified for the regional finals of the National Schools Netball competition and recently played in Ellesmere Port finishing third.

The netball success has inspired the boys at the school to master the increasingly popular game of basketball and they hope to follow the girls into representing the school at a competitive league level.

Sarah adds: “The new surfaces also allowed us to offer extra activities in our summer camp during the school holidays which has proved to be a big success with local primary and our own students. It is an exciting enhancement for new primary school children coming through who are also starting to become more and more involved in competitive sport before they arrive at High School.”

Sport Link governor Helen Millington said: “Sport is a fantastic opportunity for pupils to build their self esteem and develop competitive skills. We are very encouraged by the energy and enthusiasm currently being generated within school for team sport and the desire to train hard and improve; I know this will help our young people.”

Headteacher Paul Trickett said he was thrilled for the PE department and pupils. He said this project had involved many parents in raising funds for additional sports provision via the school PTFA so it really felt like a community project.

“In this tough financial climate, we are very grateful to the Trustees of Salford Diocese for this investment. I know we have been able to demonstrate how the sporting success within school is gaining real momentum and they recognise this is a great opportunity to give the school a further boost.”

The work was completed by J J O’Grady Ltd, Civil Engineers.