Schools pitch-in to give town a sporting boost

Store Manager, Ben Manual with Jen Reynolds, Community Champion, presenting �1,500 to David Seymour, Vice-Chairman of Horncastle Hockey Club in front of all the old pitch surface. EMN-160427-092043001
Store Manager, Ben Manual with Jen Reynolds, Community Champion, presenting �1,500 to David Seymour, Vice-Chairman of Horncastle Hockey Club in front of all the old pitch surface. EMN-160427-092043001
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A £150,000 scheme to transform a popular all-weather sports pitch in Horncastle will benefit the town for many years to come.

That is positive message from Banovallum School headteacher Nicki Shore.

The school stepped in to play a lead role in the battle to save Horncastle Hockey Club’s pitch at Coronation Walk.

The facility is used by several town-based organisations and clubs – including pupils at Banovallum and Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School.

However, the future of the entire site was in doubt because the 25-year-old surface had ‘worn out’.

Hockey club members launched a major campaign to raise £150,000 for a replacement pitch.

However, the club was struggling to reach that target but thanks to the support of the schools - and other town organisations and businesses - the scheme is going ahead.

Ms Shore said: “We are delighted to be able to contribute so meaningfully to this community venture.

“We are a committed community school and know that everyone will gain from this improved facility for years to come.”

There’s more good new for the project after the town’s Tesco store donated £1,500.

Ben Manual, manager at the Tesco store on Watermill Road, joined David Seymour, vice-chairman of the Hockey Club, to hand over the cheque.

Mr Manuel said: “We are delighted to be able to support Horncastle Hockey Clubs ‘Pitch in’ fundraising campaign alongside other local businesses.

“Our local community is incredibly important to us and as a store team, we are committed to supporting the area we serve.

“The whole community will benefit from the new Astroturf pitch with children from the two local schools using the new pitch in addition to the Hockey Club.”

Mr Seymour said: “We would like to thank Tesco for their generous donation.

“The project had been in doubt for some months due to lack of funding despite securing finance from Sports England, England Hockey, The National Hockey Foundation and ELDC.

“Without the local support from Horncastle’s two schools, Tesco and a range of other local organisations, we would not have reached our fundraising target.”

Work has already started on a replacement surface.

Mr Seymour added the fact the pitch hosted a number of different sports would be a boost for the town.

He said “The facility will be available to all schools in the Horncastle area in order to promote physical activity and participation in team sports. That will encourage children to lead a healthier lifestyle.”