Skip to main content
Minister for Sport unveils state-of-the-art 3G football pitch

Minister for Sport unveils state-of-the-art 3G football pitch

Students and staff at Holcombe Grammar School and New Horizons Children’s Academy celebrated the official opening of Chatham’s latest state-of-the-art 3G football pitch.

We welcomed guest of honour Tracey Crouch, the former Minister for Sport and Chatham’s local MP, for an action-packed launch of the pitch – which is set to be shared between the our two schools and will be open to the community during evenings and weekends. Our schools are sponsored by the Thinking Schools Academy Trust, a family of high-performing primary and secondary schools across the South East.

Pupils and their parents were excited to have a go at the beautiful game using the new facility, with 200 footballs available for them to test their own skills with the help of coaches from Maidstone United Football Club.

There was also a free raffle with a wide range of prizes, including three months’ membership to the onsite gym Thinking Fitness, in Park Crescent. To celebrate the new Football Academy partnership between Maidstone United FC, Holcombe Grammar School, and The Victory Academy, Maidstone United FC donated a Family Match Ticket for a home game.

Year 6 pupils from New Horizons were eager to voice their excitement at the new facility:

  • “It’s is an amazing addition to our school – it will really help us develop our sports skills.” Isaac, aged 10
  • “They are awesome! We are so lucky to have these!” Alex, aged 10
  • “The grounds are brilliant! I can now really develop my skills to help me pursue my goal of being a professional sportsperson when I grow up.” Tyler, aged 10

Their enthusiasm was echoed by our school’s 1st XI football team, who praised the new pitch as “a great facility which will allow us to train more frequently and to improve” and how it creates “more opportunities for all to participate and get involved.”


Mandy Gage, Executive Principal of Holcombe Grammar School, said:

“Sport is such a hugely important part of our school spirit here at Holcombe, so I am hugely pleased that our students will have the opportunity to access such a state-of-the-art facility and continue to hone their talents as sportsmen and women. This is a brilliant and very welcome addition to our thriving school community, and it was great to see the launch turn out a fantastic day for both parents and children.”


Jody Murphy, the Head of New Horizons Children’s Academy, said:

“We are thrilled to have these wonderful new facilities right on our doorstep. It gives our talented children the opportunity to continue to play well and develop their sports skills – as emerging sportspeople of the future, I know that they are incredibly excited to get on the pitch and start playing.”


Tracey Crouch, Former Minister for Sport and Member of Parliament for Chatham and Aylesford, said:

“Congratulations to Thinking Schools on the fantastic new 3G pitch at New Horizons Children’s Academy and Holcombe Grammar School.

“I am passionate about the many and varied benefits sport can bring – both at school and to communities – so it was a real pleasure to join students, staff, and parents for such a memorable opening.

“The pitch is a brilliant state-of-the-art addition to Chatham, and I look forward to seeing it used year-round by the local community and students.”