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£1million appeal for new AstroTurf pitches at Chosen Hill

By The Citizen  |  Posted: January 16, 2013

KEEP OFF THE GRASS: Sam Johnstone, second left, chairman of the Friends of Chosen Hill School, hopes to lead the fundraising for an artificial pitch with PE teachers Tom Webb, left, and Richard Knight, right, and pupils Georgina Lintin, Joe Mullis, Elliott Creed and Liberty Heyden (15).

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STATE-OF-THE-ART AstroTurf could be in place at Chosen Hill School within three years – if fundraisers can help collect the £1 million needed to complete the project.

Ambitious plans to raise the cash needed to help revolutionise sporting facilities got underway in September.

But organisers have barely scratched the surface of what is required to make their sporting dream a reality.

Sport stepped up at the school after a new hall was built in 2005 and has thrived as a dual site for the school and surrounding area.

It is hope a new artificial turf area will have a similar impact.

Sam Johnstone, chairman of The Friends of Chosen Hill School fundraising committee, said it is an exciting project that will not just benefit the school.

"AstroTurf here would mean there is always somewhere for the children to play sport, regardless of the weather conditions," she said.

"Hockey, football and rounders are just some of the sports that can be played there and it will be open for clubs like Churchdown Panthers football club to train.

"It will be some effort to raise the full amount but we are confident we can get there."

A registered charity hopes to raise £250,000 over three years toward the costs. So far, thanks to an excess from the sports hall development fund, £14,000 has been collected.

The group is hoping to reach its goal with the help of grant funding from the county council and lottery funds.

County councillor for Churchdown, Bill Whelan, said: "Anything that improves fitness and sporting facilities for young people must be a good thing.

"I hope Sport England recognise what a valuable project this would be for the community and digs deep to offer it the financial support it deserves."

The next event is a concert featuring The Chip Shop Boys and Jake Sims on Saturday, February 2 from 7.30pm.

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