BUILDING work that began on a new sports complex at St Mary's School in Calne is nearing completion, with the new facility set to open on May 12.

The new sports complex will provide additional features to the school's existing community-shared indoor swimming pool and gym. It will include a sports hall with provision for four badminton courts, netball, tennis, hockey, volleyball, basketball, football, gymnastics and cricket nets, a large dance studio, a multi-purpose room, new changing facilities and a viewing gallery.

As well as benefitting pupils from both St Mary's Calne and St Margaret's Preparatory, the new indoor facilities will broaden the school's community support by offering access to sports and leisure activities that are not available locally.

With the support and guidance of Wiltshire and Swindon Sport, the school has identified a number of local youth groups, charities and sports clubs who will benefit from access to the new facilities.

Operations Director at Wiltshire and Swindon Sport, Steve Neale, said: "The school has a successful track record of delivery in the sector and in enhancing accessibility to quality facilities and increasing participation, particularly in the youth sector."

The school currently has partnerships with a number of schools and colleges, community groups, sports clubs, members of the Paralympic GB team and children and young people with specific learning and social difficulties.

Headteacher Dr Felicia Kirk, has stressed the importance of sport within school. She said: "I truly believe that sport is the key component of an all-round education, learning to own your victories and cope with your defeats gives young people grit, determination and ultimately a sense of belief and self-confidence."

The grand opening of the new complex will take place on Saturday, May 12 when pupils and parents from both schools, along with staff, governors, donors, supporters and visiting heads from other schools will be able to enjoy family competitions of tennis, kwik cricket and archery, and taster sessions of judo, cricket and badminton.