Ambergate Sports College welcomed gold medal superstar, Richard Whitehead MBE, to open their brand new state-of-the-art building in a socially distanced ceremony. The World Record holder followed in the footsteps of Team GB Judo star, Jack Hodgson, who celebrated the completion of the first stage of the build two years ago.
Ambergate Sports College and Sandon School make up Grantham Additional Needs Fellowship (GANF), catering for pupils between the ages of 3 and 19 with moderate to severe learning difficulties and complex needs.
The remodelling of the school is the final phase of improvements to Ambergate Sports College which has delivered new classrooms and improved facilities to help provide a better learning experience for almost 150 pupils that are currently on roll. This is the first scheme completed within Lincolnshire County Council’s £50m special schools project, which will see improvements at 13 school sites delivered over a five year period.
Cllr Mrs Patricia Bradwell OBE, Executive Councillor for children’s services, said:
“We want all children to get a good education, giving them a firm foundation for the future. Like the rest of the country, Lincolnshire is seeing a growing demand for special school places. In light of this, the county council is investing heavily in local special schools, significantly increasing the number of available places and enhancing the facilities. It’s wonderful to see the new block at Ambergate Sports College completed, the first of many such improvements that we will see across the county over the next few years as a result of the council’s £50m special schools project.”
The school were extremely proud to welcome Richard Whitehead who has a double knee congenital amputation which means he runs with prosthetic legs.
Not only is Richard the World Record holder for athletes with double amputations in both full and half marathons but he also won 200m gold at the 2012 and 2016 Paralympics. This is in addition to winning the 200m World Championships no less than four times since 2011!
In total, Richard is decorated with 12 medals (9 gold) across the Paralympics, World Championships and European Championships.
Richard Whitehead said:
“For me it’s been an honour to be here to open the new primary wing. I’ve been impressed with the ethos at the school with getting children active and looking after their wellbeing. The personal approach to learning at the school is great to see.”
Stela Plamenova, Executive Headteacher for GANF Schools, added:
“The significance of this occasion today extends beyond the opening of these amazing new facilities for the children at GANF. It represents years of collaborative work between CIT Academies, the Local Authority and Peter Smith Associate Architects, with the clear vision to offer high quality provision and increased capacity as part of the SEND Review in Lincolnshire.
We are delighted to celebrate this occasion with Richard Whitehead MBE, an inspirational Olympic figurehead who champions the same values as GANF – determination, hard work and celebrating successes.”
[Pictured: Hari Knight (Pupil), Eileen McMorrow (Programme Manager at LCC), James Ellis (CIT), Richard Whitehead MBE, Stela Plamenova (Executive Headteacher of GANF), Ashley Caress (Head of School at Ambergate Sports College), Patryk Wieclaw (Pupil)]