Sports stars turned out in force to launch the next phase of a development at a Chester school.
England footballer Michael Owen, Olympic medallist Beth Tweddle, Paralympian medallist Andrew Small and GB hockey player Phil Roger were at Abbey Gate College to launch a fundraising initiative for a new all-weather pitch.
A new teaching and sports pavilion was opened at the Saighton college in June last year, which comprises a classroom/gym space, kitchen, changing facilities and state of the art gym.
The college’s development committee are now aiming to raise funds to build an all-weather playing surface that will benefit members of the local community as well as students at the college. Michael Owen is patron of the fundraising committee.
Headmistress Tracy Pollard, outlined the sporting vision of the college at the event. She said: “Today marks an important point in our journey at Abbey Gate College in creating even better sporting facilities for the benefit of all our pupils, from the very youngest in foundation stage to the oldest in the sixth form.
“Our desire and vision is to extend the provision of sport for all age groups, all year round and to create a culture of being active, healthy and happy."
The college boasts a number of alumni who have gone on to play sport at the highest levels, including football, sailing, equestrian, triathlon, rugby, rowing and netball.
At the event, the college staff, students and alumni mixed with the guests and discussed how college had provided opportunities for students to develop as elite sports men and women and how the new pitch would help students who have similar ambitions.
Abbey Gate College celebrates its 40th anniversary from September 2017.