04 / 10 / 2016

A rugby team from the Deanery High School and Sixth Form College in Wigan has had a once-in-a-lifetime experience; gracing the turf at Wembley before the Rugby League Challenge Cup Final on 27 August.

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Fifteen girls from Year Nine were given the privilege in recognition of reaching the Champion Schools National Finals, which were held the previous day. Although they had to settle for a silver medal in the match – beaten 54-6 by Castlefield Academy in Wakefield – the girls were universally inspired by the weekend.

“Although it was disappointing to lose our match, the weekend as a whole was a great experience,” said team captain Megan Grace-Holding. “Walking onto the pitch at Wembley and hearing the applause from the crowd was amazing – we’re determined to get back there next year.

“We also got to stay in accommodation at the nearby Brunel University which was a great taste of student life and really exciting.”

Morgan Sindall – which is constructing a new £20.3 million school and refurbishing the existing sports hall at the Deanery as part of the North West Batch of the Education Funding Agency’s (EFA) Priority School Building Programme (PSBP) – sponsored the kit with sister company Morgan Sindall Investments Limited (MSIL), which, together with Equitix, was successful in being awarded the North West Batch in August 2014.

Morgan Sindall senior project manager for the Deanery project, Justin Kay, was pleased that the girls enjoyed the weekend: “Rugby League is so important to the school and Wigan as a whole. It’s great to see the girls enthused by the sport and the site team was more than happy to support them by sponsoring the kit.

“They obviously didn’t get the result that they wanted in their match, but we’re glad they enjoyed the weekend as a whole and that they came away inspired – both to redouble their efforts for next year’s competition, and to keep higher-education in their thoughts while studying.”

“We were delighted to help support the school’s PE staff and girls’ Year Nine rugby league team by sponsoring their kit for the Champion Schools National Final and as a fellow Wiganer myself was particularly proud to see them grace the hallowed turf at Wembley,” added Gary Naylor, MSIL /Equitix’s North West general manager.

Deanery High School and Sixth Form College is one of 12 schools being delivered by Morgan Sindall under the EFA’s programme, which aims to provide purpose-built school buildings to those in most need of urgent repair.

The 1,500-place high school and sixth form college is situated on Frog Lane in the centre of the town. The new purpose-built school will provide modern classroom spaces suitable for delivering first class education. Plans include new facilities for dining, drama, an activity studio and a library.

The school’s existing sports hall, with its classrooms, will be refurbished rather than demolished and become an integral part of the new school.

It is expected that the new school will become operational in time for the 2017 academic year, before the demolition of the existing school and external works are completed the following year.