OPPORTUNITIES to grow at St Mary’s School in Calne will continue as its brand new sports complex has opened to pupils and sports groups from across the county.

The day was marked with an appearance by BBC sport presenter Clare Balding, who officially opened the new complex in front of former and current pupils, staff, governors, families, and representatives from Badminton England, Wiltshire Cricket, Wiltshire and Swindon Sport and Community First.

Guests took part in a range of sports including tennis, cricket, swimming, basketball, lacrosse, badminton and mini activities.

Before officially opening the new complex Ms Balding gave an inspirational speech, asking pupils from St Mary’s and St Margaret’s Prep to say how sport made them feel.

Pupils from St Mary’s and St Margaret’s also gave short speeches explaining what the new facilities will mean to them and how the new sports and leisure activities will be enjoyed by all.

The new complex boasts a sports hall with provision for four courts, a large dance studio, a multi-purpose room, new changing facilities and a viewing gallery.

Headteacher Dr Felicia Kirk said: “It was a joyous day and the culmination of our vision for sport.

“We want to provide top-class facilities across a wide range of sports, and we want it to be the comfortable environment it is now.

“It is going to allow us to expand our sports, badminton, netball, girls cricket and football.

“It is about everybody getting involved in sports at all levels, whether they do it as an elite or to stay fit and healthy and just have a go.

“It teaches them teamwork and perseverance.

“A great education is all about opportunities, and this is going to expand opportunities in sport and give them skills they can apply to other parts of life.

“Clare Balding was amazing, she relates well to everybody.

“She gave a very interesting speech and she was very powerful in saying that your body isn’t how you look, it is about power.”

The school currently has partnerships with a number of community groups, schools, colleges and individuals including local swimming and running clubs, and young people with specific learning and social difficulties who will be able to enjoy these top-level facilities, coaching and activities with easy access.