Villagers’ plan for £1m sports complex for Hethersett

Representatives of the organisations behind the Hethersett Olympic Legacy Sports Complex gather on t

Representatives of the organisations behind the Hethersett Olympic Legacy Sports Complex gather on the site for the new venture. Picture by SIMON FINLAY. - Credit: Archant Norfolk

A new community project has been launched to build a £1m sports complex in Hethersett.

Plans for a new Multi Use Games Area (MUGA) are being put forward as part of a three-phase scheme on Hethersett Academy land.

Alongside the MUGA are plans for new changing facilities, followed by a third phase to feature a new indoor sports facility.

It is likely that the new Hethersett Olympic Legacy Sports Complex (HOLSC) will cost in excess of £1m and plans are currently being drawn up and will be followed by grant applications.

Two community groups have been set up to take the scheme forward including a project/strategy team of village volunteers and members of the academy management team and an implementation team to deal with plans and grants.

The aim is to have at least the MUGA in place to coincide with the next Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro in 2016.

'It is wonderful news that Hethersett Academy, Hethersett Parish Council, sports and community groups have all come together and will endeavour to bring to reality a vision of a community sports complex, which will create a necessary and lasting Olympic legacy in our fine village,' said Shane Hull, a Hethersett Parish Councillor who is chairman of the strategy group.

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Hethersett Academy principal Gareth Stevens said: 'Boosting participation in sport can generate a variety of socio-economic benefits. Sport can, and does, make a profound and positive impact on individuals, communities and wider society.'

When built, the complex, which will be situated on the bottom of the existing academy field close to Back Lane, will be used by the school during the day in term times, but will be available to the community evenings and weekends.

The MUGA complex will offer playing and training facilities for a number of outdoor sports including football, rugby, netball, hockey and many others. The indoor facility will facilitate badminton, table tennis, indoor bowls, martial arts, dance and a climbing wall. The complex will be run by a management group and is a direct result of Hethersett's 2012 London Olympic Legacy.

Peter Steward, a member of the strategy group and chairman of Hethersett and the Meltons Sports Association, said: 'We have been determined in Hethersett to keep the Olympic legacy alive and to help it make a real difference to people's lives. This new complex will provide top class facilities for individuals and sports groups and is a massive step towards improving facilities and enhancing fitness and wellbeing in Hethersett.'

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