NO longer will the youngsters of Great Torrington Sports College have to play games of rugby and football ankle deep in mud as the college has won a £150,000 grant to improve its sports pitches. It is one of five schools in the West Country to receive suc

NO longer will the youngsters of Great Torrington Sports College have to play games of rugby and football ankle deep in mud as the college has won a £150,000 grant to improve its sports pitches.It is one of five schools in the West Country to receive such funding under the Government's £30 million support for improving facilities at sports colleges. The grant will be used to drain and resurface existing pitches and also the training areas. It is hoped that the ground works will lead to improved playing surfaces which are useable throughout the year. "For much of the winter the pitches are simply unusable and there is very little space available for the delivery of a high quality curriculum," said Andy Bloodworth, director of sport at the college."Progress of youngsters while ankle deep in mud can be limited. This improvement to our grounds will enhance the opportunity of pupils to work at their highest possible level."The school works closely with local football and rugby clubs and the pitches are used regularly for training and matches. In the past it has been the case that waterlogging and over use has meant sharing facilities has been prevented. It is hoped the improved drainage will alleviate these problems and allow greater use of the pitches by community groups.College money managers are in the process of trying to raise another £25,000. If successful, this would be match-funded from the Youth Sports Trust to further enhance facilities. The college is keen to hear from anyone or any organisation willing to contribute to this fund-raising effort.