Published: 09:30, 13 April 2016 |
Updated: 13:09, 13 April 2016
Olympic golden girl Lizzy Yarnold inspired a generation when she returned to her secondary school to open its new sports hall.
The British skeleton racer gave a short talk to pupils, governors and teachers at Maidstone Grammar School for Girls as she cut the ribbon of the £1m hall on Monday.
Lizzy, who won gold in the skeleton event at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, was a pupil at the school in Buckland Road between 1999 and 2007.
She said: “I’m so pleased that pupils will get to enjoy this amazing new sports hall, but I really will miss the old one.
“I loved growing into the person I am at this school – the cold changing rooms with the creaky doors, the smell of damp and the dusty walls are all memories of my time here.
“This is going to give generations of pupils the chance to perform and do better than ever before.”
The hall, which will cater for sports including netball, football and rowing, was named in memory of former pupil and chairman of governors Molly Tipples who died last Wednesday following a long illness.
Her daughter, Melanie Nutting , fought back tears as she read a message on behalf of the family.
She said: “Mum never liked doing speeches but I know she would have been so proud of everyone who has worked on the new hall.
“Our whole family are so proud that the school has named the hall after her.”
Mrs Tipples attended the girls’ grammar between 1954 and 1959 and was on the governing body since 2004.
Head teacher Deborah Stanley added: “She just loved this school. Throughout her life she gave so generously and I’m sure on occasions her family must have despaired at the many hours Molly spent here.
“She also had such a passion for sports and, in particular, a real love for tennis. It’s an honour to be able to name the hall after her.”
Miss Stanley added that the process wasn’t without its challenges. Construction began in last July but was delayed last November when the firm behind it went into administration.
WW Martin was appointed to finish the project late last year and finished at the start of April.
Every morning at 10am we play you an hour of tunes from the 90s. We call it, #WeLoveThe90s.
Play 'Say It' with Garry and Laura on kmfm Breakfast and you could win £1,000!
Wake up to kmfm Breakfast with Garry and Laura - it's Kent's alarm call.
A guide for your future. For year 11 students in Kent and Medway. Click here for the e-edition.
Education, Training & Childcare is a special supplement published by KM Media Group four times a year. Click here for latest e-edition.
Get the latest food and drink news, recipes from some of the nation's top chefs plus updates from Kent's vineyards and breweries.
Search in your local area to find your perfect partner in Kent, with FreshStart Dating! PLUS, register for free!.
Neil Miller, Hever Castle head gardener is new gardening blogger.
Buy pictures that you've seen in a KM newspaper, or send in a picture and we will place it on our photo sales website so that you can purchase a super, unique gift.