Here at Sheffield Girls' we celebrated our 140th year in 2018 and as part of the celebrations, we welcomed Olympic silver medallist Bryony Page to officially open our new gym and the Trinity building. Located in a former chapel and Grade 2 listed building facing Newbould Lane which became part of the school campus in 1970, the gym has recently undergone a £2.5 million refurbishment.
Bryony, who started trampolining when she was nine years old and won a silver at the 2016 Rio Olympics, watched a dazzling tumbling, gymnastics and trampolining display by 30 pupils at the event, including members of the team that won the National Gymnastics and Trampolining Finals 2018.
Before unveiling the plaque, she told the 50-strong audience, which included VIP guests from Sheffield as well as former pupils, teachers, parents and friends of the school, how sport had transformed her life and encouraged everyone to give it a try.
‘You learn so much about yourself without being defined by your achievements or failures. It really is about being happy with who you are and knowing you've tried your best,’ she said.
The ceremony was attended by the Master Cutler Kenneth Cooke; Tim Justice from building design team AAD Architects; Andy Cox, Head of Sport at the University of Sheffield and Sarah Morse, the University Sports Officer, while former pupil Emma Hillit highlighted the importance of education in combating obesity.
Emma, child nutritionist at Sheffield City Council’s Childhood Obesity project, said: ‘A quarter of children in the UK enter primary school obese, and one third of them leave obese. We need to teach the importance of nutrition combined with a healthy and active lifestyle and give the young people opportunities to take part in non-competitive as well as competitive sport.’
She continued: ‘We need to educate people about how important it is for them to eat well. That is why it is so fantastic to see this school embrace the importance of health and well-being with such amazing fitness and cookery facilities located together in the new gym.”
Mrs Dunsford explained a little about the name Trinity and the long history of sport at Sheffield Girls’:
‘Trinity takes the building back to its roots as the Trinity Congregational Church but as the name suggests, it combines three parts working in unison – Health, Wellbeing and Creativity,’ she said. ‘Sheffield High School for Girls was the first school for girls in the country to have a purpose built gymnasium. 140 years on, our strengths are still in academic excellence and sport – and particularly gymnastics and trampolining – national champions no less!’
The new Trinity venue houses state of the art facilities for girls throughout the school including a fitness suite, eating area, Cookery rooms and refurbished Drama Studio and will be used by pupils across the school for gym, dance, drama, cookery and sport.