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New sports barn at GSAL for school and community use

Work has started on the construction of a covered sports barn at The Grammar School at Leeds (GSAL) which also aims to fill a need in the community, particularly for netball provision.

The £1.25 million project, which has the backing of Sport England and Netball England, is being built on existing hard-surfaced playing fields at the school in Alwoodley and is due to be completed before the end of the year.

The sports barn, measuring 40 metres long by 11 metres wide, will be used primarily for indoor netball and tennis, but can also be used for other sports. It will be available to the wider community and, already, a lot of interest has been received from local sports clubs.

The project coincides with the appointment of a new whole school director of sport at GSAL, Lorcan O’Brien, whose role will include ensuring that the PE and sports provision at the school benefits all pupils, enabling them to develop their potential and see the benefits of participating in regular physical activity.

Mr O’Brien, who started his teaching career in 2004 at Pangbourne College and has been a director of sport for 11 years at both Kingston Grammar School and Dulwich Prep London, said: “This is an exciting time for GSAL sport and school sport in general across the country. Change and growth is needed in the sector and through collaboration, connection and partnership, we hope GSAL sport will play its part in that growth and add value to this community over the coming years.”

Principal Sue Woodroofe said: “The importance of sport and physical activity on health and wellbeing has never been more important for our children and we are thrilled to be at the forefront of offering high quality facilities for them all year round.

“However, we also take seriously our commitment to the wider community and we are delighted to be able to share this new facility with others, to positively impact the health and wellbeing ambition for many in our city.”