Our project story

At The Avon Valley School, we want to expand the range of sports our students are able to experience while increasing our role in the community as a centre of sporting excellence. In order to achieve this, we must re-surface our Multi-Use Games area to make it safe and accessible throughout the year. This will permit us to diversify the sport activities delivered as part of our school curriculum, and develop our ability to engage pupils and the wider Rugby community through extra-curricular events, competitions, clubs, and classes.

The safety of our pupils and any community members utilising the MUGA is our foremost concern. Our MUGA’s existing Tarmac surfacing can become a significant hazard during periods of inclement weather, preventing its use during lessons or breaks. Teaching staff must judge the suitability of the surface on a daily basis as even brief exposure to moisture can make the surface too slippy for use during lessons and break periods. Our pupils prefer to play on the Tarmac surface during wet weather, avoiding the field which is located on a floodplain. However, due to the heightened supervision requirements imposed by the potentially hazardous condition of the MUGA surface, this is not always possible.

The MUGA plays an integral role in the delivery of our sports curriculum, particularly during examination periods when use of the Sports Hall is reserved for assessments. In winter the MUGA is used for netball lessons. When the Sports Hall is unavailable, the MUGA also facilitates basketball lessons. During the summer the MUGA is used extensively for tennis lessons. However, the existing MUGA surface limits the number of sport activities that can be undertaken as part of our school curriculum. During periods of inclement weather in assessment periods, pupils’ access to the sports curriculum becomes extremely limited. In such cases, regular lessons must be replaced with impromptu rugby lessons on the playground, or benchball — meaning students lose valuable curriculum time for certain sporting activities.

The existing MUGA surface must be deep-cleaned by a sport court maintenance company. This costs our school £1400 per session and must be undertaken three times a year in accordance with recommended safety practice for the MUGA. Despite this maintenance, the surface returns to an unusable condition shortly after exposure to inclement weather. It would cost £3000 to purchase the court-cleaning apparatus outright, not accounting for the expense of upskilling staff members in its use and the associated staffing cost of maintaining the surface regularly enough to mitigate the impact made on our sports curriculum. The Avon Valley School is heavily involved in sports and competitions held throughout the Rugby Borough Council. However, we must always travel to other venues to take part. In addition, we are forced to decline offers from parties interested in hiring the use of our facilities due to our Health and Safety concerns.

By refitting the MUGA with a Premium Polymeric Type 3 Surface, we will significantly improve the safety of the area. This new, weather-resistant surface would be usable throughout the school year for curricular, extra-curricular, and community activities. With a significantly lowered risk of injury, pupils will be able to make use of the MUGA even during periods of inclement weather — avoiding the muddy field and helping us to mitigate the staffing and resource costs incurred when students bring mud onto the school premises.

The new MUGA surface would allow The Avon Valley School to host sporting events, tournaments, and fixtures. With renewed confidence in the safety of the area, we will be able to open the MUGA for community use, including twilight, evening, and weekend sessions. The improved surface would allow a broader range of sports to be undertaken, increasing our ability to host clubs and events for a variety of activities, including a cricket club.

Because the space will be versatile and adaptable, we will be able to cultivate a variety of letting opportunities, enriching our community provision while serving our curriculum more widely.

In our initial analysis of local letting opportunities, we have identified a gap in the provision of junior tennis clubs. With the resurfaced MUGA, The Avon Valley School would be able to provide this opportunity to interested local parties and community groups. The Premium Polymeric Type 3 Surface requires significantly less maintenance than the current MUGA surface, lowering our ongoing upkeep costs. The enhanced weather-resistant properties of the surface mean that the MUGA will remain usable even during long periods of inclement weather. This will alleviate the limitations imposed on our sports curriculum by bad weather and will ensure pupils retain access to scheduled lessons when the Sports Hall is reserved for examinations.

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