First class sports facility for Bellshill pupils

As school celebrates 40th anniversary

August 2017

Future stars of sport could be in the making after a new £550,000 multi-use games area (MUGA) at Cardinal Newman High School officially opened.

Convener of Education Frank McNally joined excited pupils and staff from the 40-year-old Bellshill school as the new all-weather sports surface was put to the test for the first time.

The new sports' facilities are part of a £2 million modernisation programme at the school which includes enhanced art facilities, a new dance studio and fitness suite.

The MUGA will provide an all-weather games area for a variety of sports including 11-a-side football, three 7-a-side football pitches, hockey, six tennis courts and athletics (200m track and 100m straight). There will also be six basketball hoops.

Councillor Frank McNally, Convener Education and former pupil of Cardinal Newman, said: "It is always a pleasure returning to my old school and I take great pride at the council's investment in this fantastic new outdoor facility, which will provide incredible opportunities for sport and health and wellbeing.

"Young people at Cardinal Newman are already making great use of this first-class facility and the investment demonstrates North Lanarkshire Council's ongoing commitment to improving sport and learning facilities for pupils in all of our schools."

Kenny Ross, Head Teacher, said, "We are delighted to finally open these magnificent sport facilities. I am sure that all the pupils and their families will be delighted at the range of sports on offer, particularly as we celebrate the 40th anniversary of Cardinal Newman High School this session.

"It's important that we provide quality facilities for pupils to ensure that they have the opportunity to improve their fitness and develop their talents. I am sure that this multi-sport area will be in use throughout the day. We may even see some budding sport stars coming through!"

One of the pupils enjoying the new facilities is Alise Stewart, who plays for the school's girls' football team and for Celtic Academy. "The PE teachers have always encouraged me to push further and aim higher with my talents, and these new facilities will allow me to continue doing this as well as allowing me to help motivate others, especially the S1s," Alise said.

"The facilities will also allow me to develop my skills in many sports, not just football, due to the new multipurpose pitch containing running tracks and the new fitness suite that will be built shortly too. This will allow me to push on in my football career and hopefully make it into the Celtic ladies first team."

Rugby player and ambassador Tony Cunningham says the MUGA pitch will help with his training: "During my time with the rugby team I have had no place to practice and train for games but now I can train, at no cost, on the best facilities that Lanarkshire have provided.

"Along with training for rugby, I am able to use the running tracks to improve my fitness in general which will allow me to strive in my rugby team and perform to a much higher standard."

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