Andy Awford goes back to school to open pitch

THIS WEEK IN 1993: Nursery school for all three-year-olds

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HE USED to teach at the school and now Pompey boss Andy Awford has returned to open its new all-weather sports pitch.

Park Community School in Leigh Park has been undergoing a huge redevelopment with 70 per cent of its buildings being rebuilt.

(l-r) Andy Awford, Jack Whatmough and Nigel Atangana at the opening of the pitch at Park Community School. Picture: Ruth Scammell

(l-r) Andy Awford, Jack Whatmough and Nigel Atangana at the opening of the pitch at Park Community School. Picture: Ruth Scammell

Andy was joined by players Jack Whatmough and Nigel Atangana as well as Pompey legend Alan Knight at the school to mark the opening.

The sports pitch, with synthetic turf and floodlights, was jointly funded by the school, Hampshire County Council, Havant Borough Council and Sport England for £498,000.

He said: ‘It’s fantastic for the area.

‘With the world we live in today, children seem to spend their time playing computers and playstations and I want to see more children out there playing sport. Any sports facilities that enhance people getting out there and playing sport, we are delighted to support.

‘I used to work here as a PE teacher so I wanted to come back and bring some of the boys with me to show my support.’

The pitch will mean that outdoor sports can be played by school students throughout the year.

It will also be available for hire at evenings and weekends for community training and league matches.

Andy added: ‘I had a fantastic time here. This is the first time I’ve really been back. It’s unrecognisable.

‘Congratulations to everybody involved in the rebuild. It’s absolutely amazing.’

Headteacher Chris Anders said: ‘We spent many years getting all the funding required to build this facility and are excited by the opportunities it provides for school sports lessons and community teams.

‘The students were very excited when building work finally began and are now getting used to the new all-weather surface.

‘I hope that this will be a well-used facility and further encourage healthy lifestyles.’

Councillor Peter Edgar, executive member for children and education at Hampshire County Council, said: ‘This is a fantastic investment that will benefit students and the wider community alike.’