The contribution of the school environment to a child’s development with daily physical activity through sport and physical education (PE) cannot be ignored. Sport participation in schools can provide many benefits in terms of physical fitness, health benefits, cognitive development, personal wellbeing, and social integration. The role that sport now plays in the ‘Academies’ environment is proving to be a fundamental building block in the overall pupil’s experience.
Academies control their own admissions process and like to lead at the forefront of innovation especially when it comes to sport and physical activity. The government have argued that academies are working towards driving up standards by putting more power in the hands of head teachers over pay, length of the school day and term times. They have much more freedom and can opt out of the national curriculum. It’s a been a big leap, but one that seems to be reaping rewards.
It’s been years in the making, but Atlantic Academy’s brand-new building at Bucks Cross in North Devon finally opened its doors in September 2018. As part of the overall curriculum Atlantic Academy aim for all students to excel, both in lessons and through extra-curricular activities which includes a huge focus on sport and fitness. The new school now abounds with a host of new features and classrooms, together with a fully equipped performance space and sports hall. In specifying the new facilities, the team at the main construction firm Willmott Dixon recommended sports flooring that would not only be of the highest quality, but would also be suitable for multiple uses, would be fit for purpose and deliver a future proof solution which is so vital in the education sector.
It would be a challenge well-met by international flooring specialist Gerflor supplying their world-renowned Taraflex® Comfort sports flooring in Blue for the sports hall and Wood Grey for the performance space. Specifying Gerflor’s Taraflex® was the ideal choice in terms of delivering a speedy installation, together with providing high-end sports performance that the successful school basketball team required as well as the required safety and comfort for players.
Lynsey Slater, Academy Principal said at the time of the school opening, “We wanted the very best for our students and Gerflor delivered that.”
The Construction Manager Michael Mackey from Willmott Dixon commented, “This was a Scape 3 Project which we tendered for back in 2012. The tog value of the cushioned vinyl sports flooring needed to be a certain rating in order to achieve the output performance specification for the underfloor heating. The Gerflor chosen sports floorings are performing really well and delivering exactly the results we wanted.”
The Taraflex® ranges have been used by the largest international sports federations (volleyball, handball, badminton, table tennis) for decades. Through partnerships with these federations Gerflor has been present at the Summer Olympic Games since 1976. It’s an Olympic pedigree stretching back over an incredible 43 years.
Michael Mackey ended by saying, “We would certainly specify Gerflor flooring again for other projects, Gerflor are always on hand to assist with specifications, provide technical advice and quotes for both new build and refurbishments projects.”
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