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St Mary’s School, Cambridge and Homerton College prepare the ground for ‘sport for all’ in Cambridge

St Mary’s School, Cambridge and Homerton College prepare the ground for ‘sport for all’ in Cambridge

Yesterday St Mary’s School, Cambridge – a well-established and respected day and boarding school for girls aged 4-18 – and the University of Cambridge’s Homerton College – the newest and largest of the University’s Colleges – have jointly received planning permission to deliver their vision for sporting education through substantially regenerating the School’s sports ground, located on Long Road.

The redevelopment is exciting news for both the School and the College but will also have a huge impact on the wider community. In support of Cambridgeshire County Council’s Health and Wellbeing Strategy, the facility will also be available extensively for community use. Space for organised sport is extremely limited in the city centre and the growing need for sports facilities cannot be met by the current resources. By extending the use of the redeveloped grounds, both the School and the College hope that this will provide much-needed additional resource for the people of Cambridge to enjoy a healthy lifestyle.

The redevelopment will include a range of enhancements to the existing provision including two new AstroTurf pitches for hockey, rugby and football; new netball and tennis courts; athletics facilities comprising a grass running track and field events facilities; practice nets for all ball sports; a new pavilion, including physio room, kitchen, and changing facilities; and floodlighting.

The benefit of sport in terms of mental health and wellbeing has been proven and is an area that both institutions continue to successfully promote.

Of the Long Road development, Headmistress of St Mary’s School and Vice-President of the Girls’ School Association, Charlotte Avery, said:

“We are delighted that our sports fields will be developed to continue to keep young people fit and healthy for decades to come, and to be working in partnership with Homerton College on this venture.

The fact that the wider community will also benefit from this redevelopment is of great importance to us.”

Bursar of Homerton College, Deborah Griffin OBE, said:

“This is great news for Homerton students and for St Mary’s School – it’s increasingly important for student wellbeing that they have a focus in their lives besides academic work.  The partnership between Homerton and St Mary’s has been very productive for our institutions, and the proposal adds an important new facility for Cambridge community use”.