SPORTING pupils are pitching in to a bright and healthy future at their school.
The Heath in Runcorn has unveiled £850,000 worth of sports facilites with a floodlit all-weather pitch as the centrepiece.
The official opening went with a bang as fireworks were released into the sky.
The Big Lottery Fund has contributed £750,000 towards the cost of the pitch through its £750m New Opportunities for PE and Sport Programme.
The school itself invested more than £100,000 towards the project, which has also seen existing facilities upgraded and opened up to the community.
Lottery officials joined Halton Borough Council representatives, guest sports personalities, staff and pupils for the ceremony.
Partner primary schools of The Heath - a specialist technology college - also took part in sporting activities.
The Clifton Road school can now offer a wide range of facilities with access for the disabled.
These include a full-size all-weather football pitch plus a hockey pitch, three five-a-side football pitches, five tennis courts, three netball courts, an indoor basketball court and three badminton courts.
Headteacher Heather Mullaney said: 'Our new state-of-the-art artificial pitch is another fabulous addition to the facilities at The Heath.
'The pitch will allow students to improve their sporting abilities during curriculum time, after school and in the holidays.
'We are grateful to the Big Lottery Fund. We also hope our local community will make use of the pitch in the evenings and at weekends.
Mrs Mullaney added: 'The Heath is committed to being a healthy school and to delivering the key outcomes of Every Child Matters.
Every Child Matters: Change for Children is a new approach to the well-being of young people from birth to the age of 19.
The Government's aim is for every child, whatever their background or circumstances, to receive the necessary support to be healthy and safe while enjoying and achieving.
Community and sports groups wishing to use the facilities out of school hours can telephone 01928 576664, between 8.30am and 4pm.