The University of Cambridge’s Homerton College, the newest and biggest of the university’s colleges, and St Mary’s School, Cambridge, the only all-girls all-through school in Cambridgeshire, are planning a partnership which will see substantial regeneration of the school’s sports ground, located on Long Road.
Unlimited access to these enhanced facilities will enable students from both institutions to pursue excellence across a broader number of sporting disciplines and to achieve a truly all-round education, which has at its core a strong focus on physical fitness and the positive impact this has on mental well-being and academic accomplishment.
Local sports clubs and societies from the wider community will also be encouraged to take advantage of the new facilities during academic holidays.
Owned by St Mary’s School, Cambridge, and leased to Homerton College, the site will feature two new AstroTurf pitches - for hockey, and for rugby and football; new netball and tennis courts; athletics facilities comprising a grass running track and field events facilities; practice nets for all ball sports; a new pavilion, including physio room, kitchen, and changing facilities; and floodlighting. The programme of development is subject to planning approval by the City Council, following submission of the plans this week.
St Mary’s School, Cambridge Headmistress, Charlotte Avery, said: “The link between physical activity and the way girls learn and feel about themselves is clear – in terms of both physical and mental well-being – and girls’ school-aged experiences of sport have a defining impact on their life-long attitudes to, and enjoyment of, physical activity. Our ‘sport for all’ mantra ensures that every girl has the opportunity to take part, for the benefit of their health and fitness, as well as to learn valuable lessons of leadership, motivation, team work and respect, and we are proud to boast elite sportswomen alongside willing amateurs.
“The pride and focus afforded to the girls by providing them with a true sporting home of their own will be immeasurable, and we are sincerely grateful for the recognition for our commitment to developing sportswomen of the future from such a prestigious institution as a University of Cambridge college.”
Professor Geoffrey Ward, Principal of Homerton College, said: “Cambridge students have a wonderful appetite for sport as well as study, and Homerton students have a particularly good track record in university-level sport. These superb Long Road facilities, to be developed in partnership with St Mary’s School, Cambridge, will give all our students access to enjoyable sport and exercise, and will help our elite scholar-athletes to excel.”