Olympic gold medalist opens an all weather facility in Liphook

It was third time lucky for an all-weather pitch opening as a Liphook school seized a golden opportunity

Wednesday, 13th October 2021, 12:15 pm
Updated Wednesday, 13th October 2021, 5:18 pm
Going for gold! Crista Cullen unveils all-weather facility and inspires Highfeild students to reach her heights of achievement

Crista Cullen, a member of Great Brtiains 2016 Olympic gold winning hockey team opened the multipurpose pitch at Highfield and Brookham schools last Saturday (October 9).

The Rio hero, who also won a bronze medal at the London Olympics, was on hand to inspire the onlookers with a powerful speech and an engrossing masterclass.

It was third time's a charm for the unveiling of the all-weather facility, as it had to be postponed twice due to various lockdowns, and this grand opening was also the culmination of an ambitious sports project that has been more than two decades in the making.

Phillip Evitt, Headmaster of Highfield Prep School, said: “It’s been a long time since we dreamed up the idea of having an all-weather pitch at the school and on Saturday that dream finally became a reality – and it truly was worth the wait."

The project was first set in motion in 1999 and by the end of the year the floodlit pitch will also include a nearby café.

The impressive facility is currently being used by Haslemere Hockey Club, Liphook United Football Club, and as a performance centre for England Hockey juniors, but it is also available to hire.

Mr. Evitt added: “We’ve left a tremendous legacy for the future, one which we are immensely proud of, and maybe one day one of our pupils will follow in Crista’s footsteps and achieve sporting glory on the biggest stage of all. After all, with the opening of the all-weather facility, we have proved that with a bit of hard work and dedication, dreams really can come true.”