Team GB Olympics star Victoria Pendleton returns to Etonbury Academy in Stotfold to open £2.5 million sports hub

Victoria Pendleton CBE alongside pupils of her former school in Stotfold, Etonbury Academy, on the n

Victoria Pendleton CBE alongside pupils of her former school in Stotfold, Etonbury Academy, on the new 3G pitch. - Credit: Archant

Two-time Olympic gold-winning cyclist Victoria Pendleton CBE returned to Stotfold on Friday last week to open a new £2.5 million sports hub at her old school, Etonbury Academy.

The multi-sports complex, boasting four indoor sports courts and more, will be named after her – and a £241,908 grant from the Premier League and FA also allowed school to build a floodlit 3G artificial grass pitch.

The gold medallist said: “It was an honour being back at my old school to open the new Pendleton Centre and 3G pitch. It’s still a bit surreal seeing my name on the sign.

“The facilities here are truly first-class and will enable students across all ages and of all abilities to play sport every single day, as part of an active lifestyle.

“I was fortunate to have competed at the pinnacle of my sport – and having access to excellent facilities, just like this one, was a fundamental reason why I was able to achieve what I did.

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“I would like to thank all those involved in the project – coming back here to Etonbury Academy really has left me excited to see our next generation of sport stars.”

North-East Beds MP Alistair Burt was also on hand for the opening.

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He said: “I really enjoyed opening the new 3G pitch and Pendleton Centre alongside Victoria, whose tremendous achievements and local background serve as an inspirational role model to all.

“The facility will act as an important hub for the local community, providing somewhere that locals can come to enjoy playing sport and the various mental and physical benefits that come with doing so.

“I would like to thank all those at the school for their dedication and commitment in ensuring the successful completion of this project, Victoria for opening these facilities and providing such a great example to all those here, and the Premier League, The FA and the Government through Sport England for their financial support.”

Etonbury Academy head Alex Prior said: “We are delighted to be able to bring this fantastic new facility to the communities of Stotfold, Arlesey and Fairfield Park for the benefit of all, now and for generations to come.

“I am very grateful to Victoria Pendleton for her patronage and support, and being here to open the centre we have named in her honour today.

“This project is the culmination of years of work, and I know it is already transforming grassroots sporting opportunities in the area.”

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