30 Shiphay Lane, Torquay TQ2 7DY
T: 01803 613215

Y7-11 Absence Line: 01803 653 750

30 Shiphay Lane, Torquay TQ2 7DY
E:   T: 01803 613215
Y7-11 Absence Line: 01803 653 750

New Sports Hall Opening

The official opening of Torquay Girls’ Grammar School’s new Sports Hall – The Cavanna TGGS Sports Hall - was marked with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and sporting demonstrations at a special event on Thursday 26th September 2013.

Fundraisers, including students, parents, teaching staff and governors were part of the celebrations, along with staff and family members from local home-building firm Cavanna Homes, who have long standing links with the school and were key sponsors of the project.

For several years, staff and pupils at the Grammar School have been raising funds for the new facility that replaces the old gym that was built in 1939 and designed for just 120 girls. Today the school is responsible for 900 girls who, until now, have shared the dated facilities that were showing signs of wear after providing over 70 years of loyal service.

The directors of Torquay-based firm Cavanna Homes were won over by the hard work, generosity and commitment of the staff, students and parents at the school and voted to contribute to the project to mark their historic links with the school and also to mark their own company’s 90th anniversary in business.

Chairman of the Cavanna Group, Jeremy Cavanna said: “We are delighted to be able to contribute to the new sports hall and honoured that it is being named after the firm. Many of the women in the Cavanna family have been educated here as well as a number of our staff. This is not only a token of our gratitude but is equally an important investment in the next generation. Mr Cavanna continued: “To see the school equipped with decent sports facilities after so many years gives us great pleasure.”

The new sports facilities will provide the opportunity for all-year round all-weather physical education to include hockey, football, netball, basketball and badminton. In addition the girls will benefit from modern changing and showering facilities and a state of the art fitness suite.

Head teacher Dr Nick Smith said: ‘It has been so pleasing to watch our vision of a magnificent Sports Hall turn into bricks and mortar. This fantastic addition to our school site will give our girls a top-class sporting environment. I would like to think that some future world champions will be nurtured beneath its roof. We whole- heartedly thank the many who contributed in any way to its realisation and of course we are especially grateful to the Cannava Group for their significant support. The old gym catered for three Cavanna generations and I am hoping the new one will do the same.’

Special guests at the event included:

Liz Drummond (cousin of Jeremy Cavanna who was educated at Torquay Girls Grammar School between 1963 – 1969 and later returned as an English teacher).

Liz recalls:

“Our single-room gym was equipped with ropes, climbing frames, benches and a vaulting horse and pile of rather smelly mats. Every bit of space was used and we were all fully engaged in our sport activities. The teachers kept a very tight regime and there was no opportunity for idleness. Even during my time as a pupil at the school the showers were very rudimentary so the new facilities will be very welcome today.

My mother Mary Drummond, who is now in her 80s, was head girl twice at Torquay Girls Grammar School and a keen hockey player. Part of our family history is her recollection of cycling to school one morning in 1944 and she was stopped on the seafront by an American officer who told her she would have to find an alternative route. It later turned out that the seafront was closed because it was the first day of the D-Day landings and troops were embarking into Landing Craft. She tells us that the pressure of getting herself to school outweighed even the importance of key Allied Forces manoeuvres!”


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