New all-weather pitch to benefit pupils and locals in Staindrop
PUPILS at a Staindrop primary are delighted with their new all-weather sports pitch which means they can be active come rain or shine.
The idea for the year-round pitch, which can be used for tennis, cricket, football and netball, was to ensure social distancing can be maintained with sufficient outdoor space for the children.
The artifical pitch has been installed next to the playground and is used at break times, for sports and by after-school clubs. Steve Whelerton, headteacher, said: “During lockdown we were trying to think of ways we could assist the return of the children to the school.
“It is a way that we can get the children more active more of the time and provides the extra space we need to allow for social distancing.”
The project became a reality with the donation of £5,000 each from the budgets of county councillors George Richardson and James Rowlandson.
Mr Whelerton added: “The children love it. We have to have a timetable because it is so popular.
“It lifts the level of PE that we do, whether during school time or afterwards.
“We have been in talks with Raby Castle Cricket Club and have offered the Dynamos the use of the pitch as well.”
The artificial pitch has increased the play area at the school by 30 per cent. But that is not the end of the work on the school playing field.
Soil removed to make way for the area has been put to one side to create a spectator zone with views across the playing field. Mr Whelerton said: “Our next development is to design some mounds that will be turfed. The idea is to create a semi-circular area, rather like an amphitheatre.
“It would cost a lot of money to bring in this amount of soil but it actually saved us money in not having it taken away. At the moment it is just heaps of soil, but we do have plans to get the work done.”
Mobile floodlights will be purchased so they area can be used in the autumn and winter.
He added: “We don’t need them at the moment because of the light nights, but we have budgeted to get them. It will mean we can use the sports area all year round.”
Accompanied visits to the school for parents looking to enrol their children can be arranged. Call 01833 660334.