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Olympic Gold Medallist Opens New Sports Hall

Helen Richardson-Walsh formally opens our new sports hall

Olympic gold medallist, Helen Richardson-Walsh MBE, opened Rugby High School’s Sports Hall on Thursday 11th May. For the first time in recent years, the whole school was able to come together in the same room, to celebrate. The new sports hall was built with a 1.4 million pound grant from the government’s CIF fund and was the second phase of the school’s expansion.

Students, parents and members of the local community raised £200,000 in donations and pledges towards the costs associated with building and equipping the new hall. Amongst the new sports that students can now access are: trampolining, badminton and table tennis.

Helen Richardson-Walsh spoke movingly about the moment at the Sydney Olympics about how her own dream of winning a gold medal was born and of the long struggle that led up to her hitting the first penalty that helped to secure England’s victory in Rio in 2016. Her message to students was to follow their dreams ‘Shoot for the moon and if you miss you will land amongst the stars!’ She urged students not to be deterred by others’ doubts or criticism and not to give up even when the odds seemed stacked against them. Her story of recovery following two lots of back surgery was inspiring.

Headteacher, Charlotte Marten said, ‘We were so honoured that Helen agreed to come and open our new hall. It is already making a huge difference to students’ experience of sport. It is so important that students exercise regularly and keep fit. This is a facility for the whole community. I’m really pleased that clubs are already beginning to hire it outside of school hours. We are really grateful to everyone who helped to make our dream a reality.’

Click here to see more photos from the day.