Aylesbury Grammar School secures £100,000 from sporting legacy fund

  |  Published: Feb 5th 2013
Jenny Price. Chief Executive of Sport England, Mrs Venning, Mr Withey, and Hugh Robertson, Minister of Sport

Aylesbury Grammar School has secured Olympic legacy funding from Sport England’s Inspired Facilities fund to refurbish their Squash and Racquetball facilities.

Sport England revealed that more than 1,000 local sports projects across the country have now received National Lottery funding through Inspired Facilities, which is part of the £150 million Places People Play legacy programme. Every sports facility that receives funding will carry the London 2012 Inspire mark – celebrating the link to the Games.

Squash at Aylesbury Grammar School has always been an integral part of the sporting activity and the school is proud of a long list of Squash achievements including winning the National Schools Championships seven times.    It is one of the only state schools in the country to benefit from having some, albeit deteriorating, facilities. 

The funding is matched, which means AGS will have to raise the other half of the money and it will be used to support the refurbishment of the existing four run-down squash courts and to the creation of new changing facilities which will enable the school to make the rapidly growing sport available to the wider Aylesbury Vale community.   

Headmaster, Stephen Lehec, commented “This is a fantastic opportunity to create a Squash and Racquetball facility for the benefit of not only our students, but other local schools and the wider community.

It will be open for public use outside of school hours and it will provide the only Pay & Play facility in the area.  We are delighted that we have succeeded in the rigorous application process and are fortunate to have secured the funding from Sport England.  The competition for funding was tough and we fully intend to make the new facilities work for everyone from grassroots to elite level.”

Sport England’s Chair, Richard Lewis, said: “This National Lottery investment is helping us deliver a lasting sporting legacy in Buckinghamshire from last year’s successful Olympic and Paralympic Games.

“With so many clubs in the South East having benefited from this fund already and building on the success of last summer, this is the legacy people want for their local community.” 

The Rt Hon. David Lidington MP, added “I am delighted that Aylesbury Grammar School has been awarded over £100,000 by Sport England towards refurbishing its four squash courts and the creation of new changing facilities which will enable the school to make the sport more widely available.  I was pleased to learn that the four courts will be available to the wider public outside of school hours.

Following the Olympics there is a real chance to create legacy for sport in the UK. Hopefully, the improvement of these facilities will help to create Team GB gold medal winner in squash in 2020, should it be accepted as an Olympic sport.”

AGS Squash Professional, Darren Withey, was delighted that the school has secured the funds “This is a fantastic opportunity for us to continue to develop squash at AGS.  We already have a number of promising players and better facilities will allow us to coach players both from our current cohort and externally.  There will be plenty of opportunity for anyone who enjoys squash to get involved.”

The project planning is now well underway.  The major building work is scheduled to commence this spring with a view to opening the facility in the autumn term.   The next stage is to now secure support for the remaining 50% of the funds needed to complete the project.  

These are exciting times for Aylesbury Grammar School and this, once again, demonstrates the wealth of opportunity available at the school.  The AGS Squash & Racquetball facility will be an outstanding provision for all players, at whatever skill level, and the Aylesbury community will benefit now and in the future from this largesse.

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