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Pupils can keep on running

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A £55,000 all-weather sports pitch means pupils at a Southwell school can exercise outside throughout the year.

The pitch at Lowe’s Wong Infants’ School was used for the first time on Monday.

It was opened by Miss Nathalie Clarke, who plays football for Nottingham Forest women’s team and teaches ball skills at the school twice a week.

All pupils spent 30 minutes testing the pitch before year two pupils had a football lesson with Miss Clarke.

The pitch is 24-metres by 16-metres, surrounded by a 3-metre wire fence and covered in sand-dressed artificial turf. A tarmac pathway leads from the school to the pitch.

The school head, Mrs Vanessa Platt, said the pitch would be used for PE lessons in bad weather, at break times and for after-school football sessions.

“Before they had to play on the football pitch that gets very muddy,” said Mrs Platt.

“They are a long way from school if anything happens and they need to come back in and if it was really muddy they had to come in and do PE in the hall.

“This pitch means the children can play outside all year round so it will offer on-going benefits to the pupils.”

The chairman of the school governors, Mr Roger Merryweather, said he hoped the new pitch would encourage more children to take part in sports.

“The pitch is a wonderful addition to the school,” he said.

“In the beginning providing this facility was something of a pipe dream but we are pleased that as time progressed we’ve been able to find the money to provide it.

“It is so important for young people to have good facilities for sport because if they get in the habit of exercising and playing together they get a good start for the rest of their education.”

Nancy Palfreyman (5) said she was looking forward to playing football on the new pitch.

“I like it because it doesn’t get muddy when it rains so we can play outside more,” she said.

Michael Richmond (5) said the artificial grass looked like a carpet. “It will be good when we play on here because we won’t mess the grass up,” he said.

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