Cup Hero Kicks Off New Sports Facility
Beeslack Community High School kicked off the official opening of their new 3G pitch with the help of former pupil and Hibernian captain David Gray.
The four-and-a-half year project came to fruition thanks to funding provided by the Army Covenant, Sport Scotland, Football Partnership, Penicuik Athletic Youth Football Club, Beeslack Community and Midlothian Council.
Roslin native Gray, who captained Hibernian to Scottish Cup glory in May, attended the school before moving south to join Manchester United as a 16-year-old in 2004.
Gray said: “I’m delighted to be able to officially open the school’s new 3G pitch and huge praise goes to everybody who helped to fund the project and make it happen.
“I’ve got some very happy memories of my time at Beeslack where I enjoyed playing football just for fun with my school friends.
“This new 3G pitch will help pupils at the school enjoy their sport, keep active and, most of all have a lot of fun in the process.”
Headteacher Lynn Black praised the contribution made by Maureen Sanford, Beeslack’s Lifelong Learning and Leisure Co-ordinator, who played a pivotal role in ensuring the project became a reality.
Lynn said: “It is absolutely brilliant to be able to welcome back David (Gray) to our school to officially open the new 3G pitch – his heroics have inspired the pupils at Beeslack.
“This project has taken some time and effort to come to fruition and we are absolutely delighted that it is now complete and already being used by the school and local community.
“The project has been overseen by Maureen Sanford and without her co-ordination, perseverance and patience we would not have this incredible facility.
“So we feel it is only fitting that our new 3G pitch will be named after her in honour of her efforts – the Sanford Park Community Project pitch.”
£30 million was allocated to the Ministry of Defence’s Community Covenant Grant Scheme in 2011 which was established to support the Community Covenant and to fund local projects that bring together the civilian and Armed Forces communities. The grant scheme closed in 2015 and a new Armed Forces Covenant Grant Scheme has since been launched.
In early 2014 £200k was awarded to Beeslack Community High School from the Armed Forces Community Covenant Grant Scheme.
The project intent was to establish a community football and wider sports hub to provide a modern, high quality coaching, training and playing centre at Beeslack Community High School for use by Penicuik Athletic Youth Community Football Club and other local clubs, as well as personnel from 2 SCOTS.
The Community Football and Wider Sports Hub Project was fully supported by the Midlothian Community Covenant Partners in early 2014.