Natasha Dowie Astro opening 2018

Natasha Dowie (2006) attends Opening of RPS all weather pitch

all weather pitch opening group 2018Artificial Pitch Opening Ceremony – Thursday 13th September

On Thursday 13th September, the Roundwood Park Community Pitch, our new artificial pitch, was officially opened by some special guests: David Clarke, the England blind footballer and torchbearer for the 2012 Paralympics, Natasha Dowie, professional footballer and former Roundwood Park student and Alan Smith, the Arsenal and England striker, now a respected Sky Sports pundit.

A collaboration between Roundwood Park School, Harpenden Colts, the Football Foundation and Watford FC Community, the new pitch will be enjoyed not only by RPS students but by the wider community for multiple sports, all year round.

Our guests spoke about how fortunate the students and local residents are to have such a fantastic facility on their doorstep. David Clarke commented that “sport changes lives for the better” and urged students to make the most of the pitch, which he said “is going to be an incredible success”. Natasha Dowie, who was touched to be back at Roundwood Park, having left 12 years ago, was delighted to see the new pitch and said that she “hoped to see some more professional players, both male and female, that come from Roundwood Park”. Mr Hunter, Head of PE at Roundwood Park hoped that, as well helping to further develop skills in multiple sports, the pitch would encourage others to participate more, in particular girls. Echoing Natasha Dowie’s comments, Mr Hunter hopes that the numbers taking part in girls’ football will really grow now and stated that the pitch would change sport at RPS for the next 10-15 years.

Roundwood Park’s Sports Captains, H. Murray and H. Soanes said that “the artificial grass pitch has provided a really great opportunity for students at Roundwood Park school to be active at lunchtimes, and we have seen many students take advantage of it. Students across different years are now playing with each other and forming friendships over their love for the same sport and that is fundamentally what the pitch is about. We feel the pitch has really impacted and improved the community of Roundwood Park School”.

Mr Henshall gave thanks for the dedication of Harpenden Colts, Mr Smith, School Business Manager, and to the incredible contribution of so many in the local community who have worked tirelessly together to support this project and make it a reality.