Community can pitch in to boost academy

Pitching in: Lucy O'Sullivan (second left) with some of the other students hoping  for an all weather surface
Pitching in: Lucy O'Sullivan (second left) with some of the other students hoping for an all weather surface

The Barnes Wallis Academy has set its sights on raising £120,000 in an ambitious bid help produce the sporting stars of the future.

The Tattershall based academy wants to create an astro-turf pitch which could host a number of different sports.

Already, pupils and staff have organised a series of events including a rowing competition, non-uniform days and cake stalls.

Now, the academy has confirmed a Grand Spring Ball will be held in April with proceeds going towards the new pitch.

The ball is being organised by Marina Carr, an administration and financial assistant. She is hoping the local community will snap up the tickets - and local companies will provide prizes for a grand raffle.

The idea for the pitch came from 12-year-old student Lucy O’Sullivan.

David Ross, the multi-millionaire behind the trust that runs the academy, recently visited Barnes Wallis.

When he stopped to ask students what they would like to see at the academy, Lucy replied: “An astro turf pitch.”

The trust runs 33 academies and has pledged to help with grant applications to national bodies. However, the academy is determined to raise as much money as possible.

Principal David Lancaster said: “Sport is a big part of our curriculum.

“The facilities could be improved and the astro surface would be a massive boost.

“As soon as it was mentioned, everyone got behind it.

“The students have done well to start the fundraising and now there’s the Grand Ball.

Lucy is one of the many students who hope to benefit from the new pitch.

She said: “I like playing hockey but its hard on the grass pitches. They are often muddy and the grass is too long.

“When Mr Ross asked me what I would like I said an astro turf pitch. He seemed really pleased with the idea.”

The Grand Ball will be held at the Dower House Hotel on April 29. Tickets (£40) are available from the academy.