A giant leap for Rugby High School's gym

Rugby High School is celebrating the success of its ambitious bid to the Government for funding for a £1.4 million sports hall.

Thursday, 31st March 2016, 12:18 pm
Updated Thursday, 31st March 2016, 12:26 pm
An artists impression of the new school gym

The cash for the new facility – which is linked to the school’s expansion – was announced in the House of Lords last week by Lord Nash.

Rugby High is one of three Rugby schools which will be getting funding from the Condition Improvement Fund.

Also on the list is Ashlawn School, which is getting money for extra classroom space and Bilton School which is getting cash for roofing work.

Rugby High’s new hall, which will be built on the site of some tennis courts, will herald a new era of sports provision for pupils, enabling the school to deliver the new PE specification and allow pupils to enjoy different activities like trampolining and badminton.

The school on Longrood Road is the only secondary school in Rugby without modern sports facilities.

It has one beautifully preserved 1960s gym, complete with wall bars and climbing ropes, which was a state-of-the-art facility when the school moved to what was then its new site, in 1960.

Then the school had just 500 pupils, now it has 837.

As part of its effort to improve the sporting offer to its pupils, the school launched a fundraising campaign which raised just under £200,000 towards the cost.

Headteacher, Charlotte Marten said: “I would like to say a big thank you on behalf of the school’s current and future students to the Government and to Catriona Flynn who chaired our fundraising campaign, to the other members of the campaign board and to all of the parents, former students and other members of the extended school community who have helped to make our dream become a reality.

“This is a tremendous outcome for the girls. It is so important for young people to be able to exercise regularly.

“Exercise improves students’ physical and mental health and is a key factor in students’ success.

“We want our girls to be able to exercise whatever the weather and to enjoy a much bigger range of sports which they can carry through into adult life.

“This was a case of third time lucky: we had bid unsuccessfully on two previous occasions. I was beginning to think that we’d never get the new hall built.

“The Government has ridden to the rescue just in time as we were not going to be able to deliver the new PE GCSE specification without a new hall.

“Rugby School has kindly agreed to share some of its facilities next year whilst our new hall is being built so that year 10 can start their GCSE course in September.”

The school has just over a year to get the new facility up and running. The aim is for it to be ready for the start of the autumn term 2017.

n The three Rugby awards were part of £435 million given out by the Education Funding Agency to academies and sixth form colleges.