George Abbot’s new Fitness Suite, funded by the PTA in partnership with the school, has been opened by an inspirational figure: Olympic gold medallist and George Abbot old boy, Liam Heath.
Liam, who won gold in the individual 200m kayak sprint at the 2016 Olympics, said: ‘What makes a person world class is the ability to work hard and to make the most of every opportunity. These facilities offer that opportunity to our next world class athlete. They would not look out of place at many places where I train.’
The suite offers two treadmills, two cross trainers, two bikes, a lat pull-down machine, a squat rack, a cable machine, a complete set of free weights and a special floor for use with weights. All equipment is by premium manufacturer Precor. It will be used by students and staff in lessons, at lunch times and after school.
Associate senior leader Mr Joshua Clayman thanked the PTA for the huge sum of £20,000, most of it raised at this year’s Clandon Park Run sponsored by Kelly’s Storage.
‘This equipment will support the school’s “Me and PE” ethos,’ he said. ‘Sport is not just about being good at something. It’s also about learning transferable skills and achieving life-long fitness.’
Headteacher Kate Carriett agreed: ‘The Fitness Suite helps open up the possibility of being fit, active and healthy to every child. Finding a suitable form of exercise supports well-being in all its forms. It is a key part of what we strive for at the school.’
Students will be taught how to use the new equipment safely and for maximum benefit. The next Clandon Park Run takes place on March 23 2019.