A primary school head teacher in Redruth is spearheading an ambitious scheme to build a half million pound multi-purpose community sports facility for the town.
Robert Adams, head teacher at Pennoweth School, says the facilities are needed to tackle deprivation and give the town’s youngsters’ somewhere to develop new skills and confidence.
He already has the backing of five local schools, with support from the Cornish Pirates and the Bishop of Truro, to build a new floodlit training pitch with changing rooms and parking.
Mr Adams, who has set aside school land off Drump Road for the facility, is hoping to bid for a £500,000 Sport England improvement grant but needs find 25 per cent of the fund - £125,000 - to support the application.
Redruth School, St Day Primary, Treleigh Primary School, Lanner Primary School and Stithians Primary School have recently become a Cooperative Trust and are supporting the sporting initiative, said Mr Adams.
“Through the vehicle of sport we hope to help transform our whole community. Improved health and self-esteem, respect for each other, improved interpersonal and social skills and higher aspiration leading to increased employment,” he added.
The headteacher said that while the town was a wonderful place to live it needed to overcome problems: “It suffers from high rates of domestic violence with a local estate subject to a community curfew in 2009, there are high rates of teenage pregnancy and other issues.”
He pointed to the lack of sporting facilities in the area saying the nearest were at Carn Brea and Pool, both around four to five miles away.
“What is needed is a ‘state of the art’ floodlit training area that can be used by the whole community during the day, in the evenings and during the weekend in a central location in Redruth,” he added.
He said early discussions with the Cornish Pirates showed that the pitch would provide the ideal location for their Hitz Programme, aimed at disaffected young men aged 17 to 23.
The RFU has also shown interest in becoming a partner to the project, he added.
“The first challenge is to gain community backing and make sure that it is a community project and meets the needs of our community. We need people who have interest in developing sustainable buildings, sports facilities or could have influence in our local community.
“It is a big idea and a long way from starting and there will be many challenges ahead but if we don’t try then we won’t even have a chance.”
To hear more about the project there is a public meeting next Wednesday (OCT 23) at
Pennoweth School hall at 7.00pm. Light refreshments will be provided.