Sports Facilities Upgrade
Exciting news about an upgrade to our sports facilities!
Haywood Academy has been lucky enough to secure a significant funding bid to upgrade our outdoor sports area. This will ensure that our students and our local community have access to higher quality facilities than ever before and is a brilliant addition to the curriculum offer for our young people – just like they deserve.
The 2G pitch will be laid during the Summer months and will be in full use when students return to the Academy in September.
Please see below a number of frequently asked questions that have previously been raised. Alternatively, you could pop into the Academy between 5.00 and 6.00pm on Friday 5th April to take a closer look at the arrangements.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. Why does Haywood Academy need this facility?
At present due to the age, poor quality and flooding of our RedGra surface (3,300sq/m) usage by students and the community is extremely limited, and can only take place in good weather. Weather conditions also restrict the use of the main field where hockey, football, and cricket are currently played. Our sports hall is not extensive and only allows for fairly small numbers of people using it at any one time.
Our overall aim is to:
• provide a facility that will open up access for the community;
• create a thriving sports hub for students and the community;
• grow the numbers of people who play sports each week;
• set up activities that will retain people in sport;
• encourage the transition from school sports to community sports.
The proposed Haywood Academy Sports Centre will feature a new, competition approved, sand-dressed, full size hockey pitch. Coupled to this will be improvements to existing facilities, which will include a new 200m track for athletics, a new cricket pitch with a new cricket wicket, and a new full-sized football pitch.
The new sporting facilities will complement the existing indoor sports hall, with its dance studio/gym and changing facilities that were developed in 2012.
The 1200 students at the Academy deserve this facility and the scheme has the backing and support of students’ families, the local community, and of a number of local residents who live adjacent to the school – who have expressed their delight at the prospect of the hockey facility being built.
These outstanding sports facilities will also be used by the 2,700 students and their 7,000 family members from City Learning Trust (CLT) member schools across Stoke-on-Trent. We will also make the facilities available to local clubs and the community to use for a wide range of sports, with the aim of increasing community sports participation.
This is the first competition approved hockey pitch in the city. There are some good hockey teams in Leek, Newcastle, Stafford and Cannock, but now this gives us the opportunity to nurture sporting talent in Stoke-on-Trent from primary school children as young as five, up to sixth-formers, as well as students in further and higher education, and adults.
We want to create a thriving sports hub and to provide a facility that will open up access for the community. Our aim is to increase the general wellbeing of members of our local community by setting up a variety of activities that are fun and which either get people back into playing sport or into it for the first time.
Many clubs and societies in the local community already make use of our existing facilities at Haywood Academy, and we are hoping that the state-of-the-art sports hub will attract even more local people and new clubs and societies.
Q2. What about the concerns some neighbours raised previously?
A community consultation process has been underway since June 2015 and Haywood Academy has listened to the residents’ comments and taken steps to mitigate any concerns they may have.
1. At the request of some residents, replacement of the palisade fencing along Dolly’s Lane and Chumleigh Grove has been omitted.
2. We have employed specialist acoustic consultants to look at different options regarding materials, height and location for an acoustic fence to minimise noise, and have taken into consideration residents’ comments to relocate the proposed line of the new acoustic fence to partially enclose the hockey pitch to minimise its visual impact.
3. We have been working with Sport England and England Hockey, and have visited other facilities across the country, to learn about the latest and best noise reduction techniques, such as the use of resilient mountings on the fencing, and the use of foam and carpet wrapping on run off boards. These reduce the possibility of noise and will be incorporated into the construction.
4. Following on from the concerns raised by some residents about the flood lights, the school has taken a number of steps to reduce the impact: reducing lux levels from 500lux to 350lux; reducing the number of flood lights from 8 to 6; reducing the height of the columns from 15m to 13m; using slim line masts with a natural aluminium finish which does not stand out against the skyline; and incorporating the ‘Thorn Light Control’ system to ensure light pollution is minimized. A specialist has concluded ‘The impact on residents will be minimised as overspill values will be less than moonlight and vertical illuminance is very much below the values recommended by the Institution of Lighting Engineers.’
5. We are recruiting Sports Development Officers (SDOs) for the hockey facility, one of whom, as a minimum, will be on site at all times when the pitches are in use. Their phone number will be displayed on the facility and on our website, so that members of the public can contact them, should they need to do so, outside of school hours.
6. In accordance with our current practices, which currently work well at Haywood Academy and have caused no issues for residents, we will only be hiring our facilities to bona fide sports groups and community groups (i.e. and NOT to individuals or groups of friends).
7. Our SDOs will be implementing a strict Respect Policy, which sets out the high standards and levels of behaviour that we expect participants to display. We will serve a yellow-card warning to anyone that undertakes any form of anti-social behaviour, and will make it clear that any repeat will incur a red-card, which will mean a permanent ban from the facility.
8. Haywood Academy has taken into consideration some residents’ concerns about parking and has agreed to open up an alternative parking facility which is accessed off Haywood Road. This new location will be utilised as the main parking area for those who wish to use the sports facilities.
9. During larger events, parking stewards will be on site to direct the traffic to alternative onsite parking facilities accordingly, eliminating any on-street parking.
Q3. Why does the community need this?
In May 2016, in response to the Government’s Sporting Future paper, Sport England launched their current strategy and outlined the work they will do between 2017 and 2021 to increase the number of people getting active. The CLT supports this vision.
They aim to build an active nation that caters for everyone, and increases the number of people undertaking sport and activity, no matter what their background, ability or age – from traditional team sports, to activities like walking or going to the gym.
Their vision is that everyone in England, regardless of age, background, ability or level of confidence, feels able to take part in sport or activity.
Sport England will contribute to the government’s strategy by working to:
• Increase the number of people in England taking part in sport and activity and decrease the number of people who are physically inactive
• Increase the proportion of young people (11-18) who have a positive attitude to sport and being active
• Make sure public facilities are used fully and effectively to get maximum use from communities
• Increase the number of children who are physically literate – i.e. confident and competent in sport and activity
• Increase the number of adults using the great outdoors for exercise and wellbeing
• Contribute to UK and home nation performance in major sporting events at home and abroad (through our various projects to support talented individuals)
• Increase investment in sport from sources outside the public sector
• Increase the number of people volunteering in sport at least twice in the last year
• Make sure volunteers are from a wider range of backgrounds and lifestyles to ensure this group represents society as a whole
Q4. How will the facilities be managed?
We recognise the aspirational, sporting and healthy lifestyle benefits that these improved sporting facilities will bring to students and members of the local community, whilst also recognising that we need to be sensitive to the perceived issues identified by a few nearby residents, which we will do our absolute best to address.
The operation of all the facilities, including the hockey pitch, will be undertaken very professionally, with two Sports Development Officers recruited, who will liaise closely with residents to check, and ensure, that they have no issues.
We will take steps to quickly put matters right if/where required, and will be proactive to prevent any problems from arising.
We will only allow bona fide sports clubs and organisations to use our facilities.
A few identified perceptions that “gangs of teenagers” will be using our facilities unsupervised; that they will be “up-to-no-good”, “swearing and the like near to neighbouring properties” are without good reason. This certainly does not happen at Haywood Academy now, when our facilities (e.g. the Sports Hall and the Football Pitches) are used by the Community.
It will categorically NOT be allowed to happen in the future either.
Our Respect Policy will be fully enforced and, whilst we do not expect there to be any issues with our users, all parties can be assured that in the event that any issues do occur, they will be dealt with swiftly, with offenders served a yellow card for a first offence and a red card for a second, when they would be told to leave and not allowed to use our facilities again.
In addition to our Sports Development Officers (whose mobile numbers will be given to residents and displayed on signage near to the facility), our CLT Director of Operations will be available to residents, should they wish to raise anything – this will be both during the construction phase and when the facility is operational.
Our neighbours will also be included in timely communications, regarding the construction plans/timescales, as we move forward through the construction phase.
All steps will be taken to ensure that we continue to be a good neighbour, and that all our stakeholders benefit from this fantastic sporting opportunity, which the Academy, the area, and the City all so desperately need and deserve.