Gold medal Olympian Sally Gunnell OBE opens Henfield school running track
On Monday 14th January, British athletics star Sally Gunnell OBE, opened the new all-weather running track at St. Peter's CE (Aided) Primary School in Henfield. Teaching pupils from the entry age of four up to 11, the staff at St. Peter’s aim to provide an exciting, challenging, yet bespoke curriculum to suit all children’s needs with the vision to ‘unlock the potential in everyone’.
Sally was welcomed to the school to discuss her incredible career with the staff and pupils and cut the ribbon to open the track. In order to build the track, the school was fortunate to be awarded funding by the Diocese of Chichester, from The Healthy Pupils Capital Fund, which is intended to improve children’s and young people’s mental and physical health by increasing the availability and improvement of facilities.
Sally said: “It was a pleasure to open the track and meet the staff and pupils at the school. I hope the track inspires them to achieve their goals and go for gold. Exercise is a vital part of health and wellbeing and it’s great to see the school incorporating physical activity across other school lessons, and encouraging children to take part in sport.”
Sally has enjoyed a phenomenal career in international athletics and remains the only woman ever to hold four major track titles concurrently – Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth. The former track and field athlete won the 1992 Olympic gold medal in the 400m hurdles in the Summer Games in Barcelona for Team GB. Since retiring from athletics, Sally, one of the most well-known British sportswomen, became a regular TV personality and now uses her experience and knowledge in health and fitness to deliver corporate wellbeing programmes. She is also a motivational speaker, and supports healthy and active family initiatives in the UK.
Every day, each of the school’s 14 classes will use the track, which has been laid into the school field in an effort to develop the health and well-being of pupils and staff alike. The track, which has been named by the children as ‘St Peter’s Metres’, will assist cross curricular activities - Science (healthy living), Maths (data handling), and PE (to build confidence and strength and learn more about the way their bodies work).
Headteacher Denise Maurice said: “On behalf of all who attend St. Peter’s, we thank Sally for visiting us; Mr Nick Matthews, our previous Head of School for placing the bid and the Diocese of Chichester in supporting our efforts to maintaining a healthy lifestyle at St. Peter’s.”
Denise Maurice, Headteacher