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WATCH: Ellesmere Port Sports Village gets royal approval

Prince Edward describes new £15m centre on Stanney Lane as 'fantastic'

The Earl of Wessex heralded the ‘fantastic’ Ellesmere Port Sports Village as he officially opened the new £15m venue.

He chatted to youngsters splashing in the eight-lane pool and saw sports groups in action as he got a taster of what the sports centre – which opens to the public on Tuesday, May 26 – has to offer.

Taken on a tour by the building’s Brio manager Kerry Graham, Prince Edward met pupils from William Stockton and Cambridge Road Primary Schools as they practiced their swimming skills.

He was then whisked away to the sports hall – which will become the home of the Cheshire Phoenix basketball team– where he saw pupils from Overleigh St Mary’s CE, Upton Heath CE and Helsby Hillside Primary Schools and The King’s School playing basketball.

The children were taking part in the British Basketball League’s national community programme Hoops 4 Health.

Colleen Hassall, a clerical officer at Upton Heath CE Primary School, said: “He was very interested in the children and asked if they had scored any shots.

“The kids were all very excited. This is their final year at primary school so it really will be something they’ll remember and take with them to big school.”

Royal approval

The ninth in line to the throne also met Marjorie Rainford, a local para sports coach and volunteer for the Ellesmere Port, Chester and Neston Special Olympics, and some of the young people with learning difficulties that she works with.

Marjorie revealed some of the female members of the group had worn their perfume especially to meet the royal, who she described as ‘very nice’.

Little Sutton resident Roger Price, a regular user of the No Strings Badminton drop-in sessions, said it was ‘an honour’ to showcase local badminton and praised the sports village’s ‘lovely’ facilities.

“It is great for the area to have a sports centre like this and to have a member of royalty open it,” he said. “Hopefully, it will attract people to use it.”

The Earl urged the assembled crowd to ‘make lots of noise because this is the only time this is going to happen’ before he unveiled the plaque.

He hoped everyone would have lots of fun at the centre and that its affiliated sports groups ‘win lots of competitions’.

“Thank you very much for inviting me to visit the village and to see this fantastic new facility,” he added.


David Holmes
Chief News Reporter
David Norbury
Mike Fuller
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