New state of the art artificial pitch to benefit whole community at The Cowplain School

A SCHOOL’S new £400,000 sports complex and Premier League-standard artificial pitch will benefit the whole area – and could give girls’ football a shot in the arm.

Lewis Luff, 14, left, and Kyle Ashman, 14
Picture: Malcolm Wells (190327-5972)
Lewis Luff, 14, left, and Kyle Ashman, 14 Picture: Malcolm Wells (190327-5972)

The Cowplain School unveiled its new £400,000 complex when the fourth-generation pitch was officially opened by the Mayor of Havant, Councillor Peter Wade.

Headteacher Ian Gates said: ‘Our old pitch was 10 years old and in need of replacing. This is an amazing new facility which is the best in the area and at the cutting edge of pitch technology. I am really pleased with the new development – it couldn’t be any better.’

For the staff and pupils at the school the new pitch will provide the opportunity for year round use.

Ian Gates with the Mayor of Havant, Cllr Peter Wade, and Mayoress Janet Wade Picture: Malcolm Wells (190327-5955)

Physical education teacher Jim Sanderson said: ‘This is a full size Premier League-standard pitch which we can use in any weather. As well as football we can use the area to play rugby and other sports.’

Fellow physical education teacher Joanna Goss hopes to use the new facility to continue to promote girls’ football.

Joanna commented: ‘This will be an amazing boost to the profile of girls’ football. They were really excited to play on the pitch and this allows us to train and play throughout the winter. We have a state-of-the-art-pitch which is effectively our state-of-the-art classroom.’

With the surface available for use outside school hours, Mr Gates said it was there for everyone to use.

‘The pitch is already booked to be used every night over the next three weeks. Cowplain Youth and Denmead Football Club are using the pitch for training as well as Pompey in the Community. Brighton and Hove Albion are also now using the facility for their local junior academy,’ said Mr Gates.

The opening ceremony also saw an exhibition game between Cowplain School and Cowplain Youth.

Cowplain School midfielder, Kyle Ashman, 14, said: ‘It was so much better than our old pitch. When other teams come to play us I am sure they will be really impressed by this.’

Team mate, Lewis Luff, 14, added: ‘The pitch feels so much smoother and is a real improvement to the school. It used to be difficult to play our games over the winter but that should no longer be an issue.’

The funding for the new facility was provided by Cowplain School, Havant Borough Council and the Football Foundation.