Hockey star returns to school to mark beginning of all-weather pitch construction

In August, Molly Fairbairn, England U16 Hockey player visited her old school, Highfield and Brookham Schools, to mark the start of the construction of their new all-weather pitch

The schools received full planning permission at the end of last year for the pitch and a pavilion.

The development will accommodate a full-sized sand-dressed hockey pitch, allowing for two smaller cross field pitches, and floodlights will allow the school to train and play in the evenings all year round.    

The works will take around 14 weeks to complete and the school anticipates completion in November 2019.

Smith Construction, based in Lincolnshire, won the tender and will be undertaking all the works. The construction will be project managed by Traction Sport, based in Dorset.

The all-weather pitch can be used not only for hockey, but for hosting a range of sports including lacrosse, cricket, football, PE, fitness sessions and after-school clubs.

The schools will also offer the pitch to local sports clubs, schools and the community.

Molly is currently at Canford School in Wimborne and will be trying out for England U18 Hockey next month.

She said her love of sport started at the schools: “Sport, particularly hockey, was a big part of my life at Highfield and Brookham and I have so many happy memories of being part of a team there. The Astro is going to be a fantastic addition and I’m excited to come back and visit when it’s completed.”

Representatives from Highfield and Brookham Schools, Traction Sport and Smith Construction came together to celebrate the start of the construction project.

The construction of the all-weather pitch starts the implementation of Highfield and Brookham Schools’ Whole Estate Plan, led by estate manager Guy Baber. In March 2018 they become one of the first estates to have their Whole Estate Plan endorsed by the South Downs National Park, and the first estate with a school.

Having been part of the Liphook and Lynchmere communities for over 100 years, the school enjoys extensive connections to the local community.

Phillip Evitt, headmaster at Highfield School said: “This is something that has been in the making for many years and we know it will be worth the wait! We are immensely pleased that the construction has now started and even more so that Molly could join us to mark such an occasion – a legacy for future generations.”

Highfield and Brookham Schools are in Liphook on the edge of the Surrey, Hampshire and West Sussex borders.

It consists of a nursery, pre-prep and prep school for children aged three to 13.

In the same month construction started, Highfield and Brookham Schools welcomed 19 children and young adults for their annual Highreach Holiday.

The children came from across West Sussex, Oxfordshire, Hampshire and Surrey.

Highreach Holidays is a small volunteer-run organisation that provides a week-long residential holiday for children and young adults, aged 8–16 years old, with a range of learning difficulties, who may also have physical disabilities or medical conditions. It allows them to enjoy a week full of memorable experiences in the safe environment of Highfield and Brookham Schools.

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