St Albans pupils celebrate new sports field

A SCHOOL has been celebrating its new sports field which was only made possible by a chance encounter with a past pupil.

SS Alban and Stephen Junior School in Cecil Road had for years dreamt of levelling their sloped playing field to enable their thriving sports clubs to host home games, but it was always out of their reach after estimates threw up astronomical figures in the region on �50,000 to �60,000.

But when former pupil turned planning specialist Tony Brophy heard about the school’s plight, he offered to take on the role of project manager and draw up the plans for free, which left the school having to raise the more realistic sum of �12,000 for the construction work.

And after two years of fundraising by the school, its PTA and generous donations from parents, work finally got underway earlier this year and the new snow-covered sports pitch was officially opened by Santa Claus on Friday afternoon in the company of staff, governors, pupils and Mr Brophy’s son Ben because he was unable to attend in person.

Headteacher Helen Hill, who has been at the school for 14 years, said: “We are very, very lucky as it would have otherwise been completely out of our reach. We haven’t been able to play home games on the field at all.

“The school was already very sports orientated but it now means children can show off their sportsmanship and their school at our home games in the support of home spectators. It feels like it was a real community project as it was made possible by an ex pupil from many years ago and the PTA and parents raised the money. The children now feel very proud of their school.”