Fight for sports hall hits the web after being refused

UNHAPPY Back from left, students Jamie Clark, 15, Megan Warwick, 14, Bethany Huntington, 15, and Alex Allen, 14, with front from left, Ran Foster, 15, Bay House estate manager Reg Pay, headteacher Ian Potter, parent Patrick Allen and Megan Richards, 15. Picture: Sarah Standing (131548-7761)
UNHAPPY Back from left, students Jamie Clark, 15, Megan Warwick, 14, Bethany Huntington, 15, and Alex Allen, 14, with front from left, Ran Foster, 15, Bay House estate manager Reg Pay, headteacher Ian Potter, parent Patrick Allen and Megan Richards, 15. Picture: Sarah Standing (131548-7761)
The Highfield Campus at the University of Southampton, which is home to the George Thomas Building. Picture: Geograph

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HUNDREDS have joined a Facebook campaign backing a funding appeal for a sports hall after a bid was refused.

Pupils, parents and the public want a replacement hall at Bay House School, in Gomer Lane, Gosport.

The ‘Fund Bay House School Sports Hall’ Facebook page has 839 people onboard, and more than 700 have signed an e-petition.

Bay House School has a £120,000 temporary sports hall, paid for by the Education Funding Agency, which the government said it may continue to fund.

The school got it after an appeal against the initial refused application for a replacement but now a second application has been rejected.

It means a girls’ basketball team have nowhere to train at the school.

The team won the Hampshire round of the Dynamik competition last year.

Player and Year 10 pupil, Bethany Huntington, said: ‘We have to go outside of the site or we can’t do it at all.

‘We won’t get to play as a team again properly until next September, as there’s no basketball hoops in the new [temporary] sports hall.

‘We’ll have the Hampshire cup at the beginning of next year and we’ll only have practised a couple of times before we go into playing.’

Patrick Allen, 47, of Vectis Road, in Gosport, and dad of Year 10 player Alex Allen, 14, set up the online campaign.

Mr Allen said: ‘It’s been amazing how the ex-pupils have “liked” the page.

‘It also affects people who were at the school and will have their own children at the school in the not-too-distant future.’

Headteacher Ian Potter said he felt the school, which allowed local people to use the old hall, has been let down.

He said: ‘We are pushing forward, encouraging young people to engage in sport.

‘I don’t understand why, in the year after the Olympics, which we were so successful in we’re not being supported.’

In a statement, a Department for Education spokesperson said it got more than 2,100 applications asking for £1.1bn, four times its funding.

It said: ‘All decisions are based on the detail and evidence of the plans that are put forward and ... applicants need to demonstrate that they can secure good value for money within a realistic timescale.’

‘We have provided the school with feedback on their application and an appeal is currently being considered.’