Standish school celebrate opening of new play area

A primary School in Standish has welcomed special guests including a footballer from Wigan Athletic to the opening of its new £60,000 multi-use games area (MUGA).

Reece James, who plays full-back for The Latics, officially opened the new outdoor facilities at St Marie’s Catholic Primary School on Thursday 24th January, before joining pupils for a PE lesson.

The primary school had been fundraising extensively to build the facilities including sport events and coffee mornings as well as reaching out to local companies for donations.

Among the guests invited to the opening was Bloor Homes, which is building in Standish. The housebuilder was one of the companies to support the project with a donation of £1,000.

The idea of having a MUGA was suggested by former Year 6 pupils at St Marie’s, who, along with current Year 6 pupils, were invited to have the first PE lesson on the games area shortly after the official opening.

Mel Smith, Headteacher at St Marie’s Catholic Primary School, said: "We were delighted to welcome so many guests to our school for the official opening of our new games area, especially Reece whose visit provided a real inspiration to the children.

"The games area replaces an old wooden adventure assault course and was the brainchild of children at the school, who were asked to submit their own ideas and then vote on their preferred new resource.

"We have a large school field, but unfortunately due to bad weather this is not always suitable for the children to use. The new MUGA is a versatile outdoor area featuring a football pitch with recessed goals, as well as hoops for basketball or netball, making it ideal for a variety of sports and games throughout the year. The children are absolutely thrilled with it!

"As well as facilitating PE lessons, the MUGA is being used by the children at playtime and lunchtime for football games. We will also be working with the children to develop further ideas for use, including as a reward for ‘golden’ behaviour and achievement.

"This new facility would not have been possible without the support of local businesses, so we are extremely grateful to companies such as Bloor Homes for their generous donations towards the project."

Commenting on the new facility, Reece said: "There definitely wasn’t anything like this at my school when I was growing up so I’m sure the kids will have a brilliant time playing sport on the MUGA.

"I’ve been to a few different community settings so far while I’ve been at the club and it’s been great meeting so many Latics fans."

Bloor Homes is currently building its Standish Grange development, off Pepper Lane, which features a range of three and four-bedroom homes.

Sarah Ransom, Marketing Manager at Bloor Homes North West, said: "Bloor Homes is committed to helping the communities where we build, so when we heard about the school’s fundraising appeal, we were keen to help.

"It was wonderful to come to the official opening and witness first-hand the pleasure the children are already getting from the MUGA."