A NEW sports hub at Gordon’s School, serving both students and the local community, has been officially opened by His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex, who met students and staff and unveiled a plaque to mark the occasion.

Completed in 2020, the sports hub incorporates a sports hall, all-weather pitch, changing rooms and café, and complements the extensive sporting facilities at the co-educational state boarding school in West End.

The Earl was received by Gordon Foundation vice president and His Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Surrey, Michael More-Molyneaux, who presented Gordon’s student Leonor Nunes, a Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadet, headmaster Andrew Moss and director of sport Jamie Harrison.

During his visit, the Earl met students who were using the equipment in the newly-built fitness suite, indoor rowing centre and sports hall, as well as those playing rugby and football on the sports pitches.

His Royal Highness also enjoyed the opportunity to take on some of the students in a game of table tennis.

The Earl of Wessex, who last visited the school in October 2014 for the unveiling of the restored statue of General Gordon on a camel, also spent time with the school’s student wellbeing prefects and mental health first-aiders, and learnt how pastoral staff care for boarding students, particularly those whose families are in the Armed Forces.

Half of those boarding at Gordon’s are from military families.

Sport is a vital part of the school’s commitment to supporting students’ mental wellbeing. In 2020, Gordon’s formed a partnership with Premiership rugby club Harlequins, providing a DiSE (Diploma in Sporting Excellence) programme for talented 16 to 18-year-olds wishing to pursue a career in professional rugby while receiving an excellent education.

Head Boy Sam Moreau and Head Girl Libby Lomas thanked His Royal Highness for the visit.

Libby said: “I hope the students have shown you what a privilege it is to have all these brilliant facilities and how they utilise them to ensure they have the best chance to succeed in one of the various sports Gordon's has to offer.”

Sam added: “We'd like to thank you for visiting Gordon's School and hope the opening successfully showcased how the school has continued to improve its sporting facilities since your last visit in 2014.

“Sir, it has been an honour to welcome you here today and we hope that you get the chance to visit us again in the future.”

Gordon’s headmaster Andrew Moss thanked the Earl of Wessex for his time and interest in the school and for unveiling the plaque. He said: “We were delighted to welcome the Earl of Wessex back to Gordon’s to officially open the new sports hub, which is already proving to be a well-utilised and much enjoyed addition to the school and community.”

For more pictures of the event, see the 26 January edition of the News & Mail – in shops on Thursday.