Pupils and staff at Charles Read Academy welcomed an England international footballer to open a pitch named after a youngster who was a keen footballer himself.
The new 3G all-weather sports pitch at the school in Corby Glen was opened in a ceremony on Monday.
Pupils from Ingoldsby Academy, Corby Glen Community Primary, Bourne Abbey CE Primary, Ropsley CE Primary and The Bythams Primary School were invited to take part in football masterclasses and tournaments throughout the day.
The children and members of the local community joined staff at Charles Read as England international footballer Sue Smith unveiled a plaque, officially declaring the facilities open.
The pitch was named after former pupil Bailey Drew, who collapsed during a game of football with his friends near his home last May. Despite efforts to revive him, he tragically died from Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome, known as Sads.
Bailey was 11-years-old and in Year 7 at Charles Read Academy when he died.
His family were present at the opening of the pitch.
School principal Robert Sloan said: “The students have been eagerly watching the development of the site over the last few months, so they are very excited to be able to start using these incredible new facilities.
“We chose to name the pitch in memory of Bailey Drew, a popular Year 7 student and keen sportsman, who sadly passed away last year. Our hope is that the pitch will become a central part of our community and I can’t wait to see the difference it will make to academy life.”
During the official opening, pupils in Year 9 and 10 from Charles Read were also treated to an exclusive training session with Peterborough United manager Dave Robertson.
Sue Smith said: “I am so pleased to be part of such a special event. The pitch looks brilliant, it’s perfect for football training and tournaments, in fact we use something similar when training in the winter months.
“It’s fantastic to see so much enthusiasm for sport, and I have no doubt that these facilities will open up even more opportunities for people in the local area.”
Chief executive of the David Ross Education Trust, which runs the school, Wendy Marshall, added: “As a trust we are committed to investing in facilities to enhance the learning environment for our students, so in addition to the recent refurbishment of the science labs, music suite and Year 7 hub, this pitch will really enrich the sporting opportunities on offer at Charles Read Academy.”
The sports pitch can be booked for community use on weekday evenings, in the school holidays and at weekends.
For further information contact the academy by e-mailing 3Gpitch@charlesreadacademy.co.uk or calling 01476 550333.