Playtime as Cope’s £100,000 pitch opens

Pupils of Cope Primary School gave an enthusiastic demonstration of zumba dance routines and sporting activities at the official opening of their new Multi-use Games Area (MUGA) last Thursday.

The £100,000 all-weather pitch has been described as an “invaluable resource” by principal Heather McKenzie who said the school was looking forward “with optimism to a bright future”.

Senior architect Paul McGilton, representing the Education Authority, praised the school’s co-operation and team effort in delivering the new facilities.

Both the principal and chairman of the Board of Governors Marshall Allen said the benefits of the MUGA will be invaluable.

“The all-weather nature of this pitch gives The Cope’s pupils an all-year-round opportunity to enjoy their break-times and pursue their sporting ambitions in a safe and secure environment,” said Mr Allen.

That message was echoed by Ulster rugby star Willie Falloon, who cut the ribbon to declare the new facilities officially open and congratulated all involved “on getting this project off the ground or should I say ON the ground!”.

He added, “Having this in the school offers the kids a brilliant start in terms of opportunity to engage in physical activity and organised sport – and if you start well you can continue to greater things and lifelong enjoyment.”

After enjoying a performance from the choir, invited guests and parents heard uplifting speeches from Mrs McKenzie, who revealed the new school motto – ‘Learn, laugh and let your light shine’ – and Mr Allen.

Referring to the school’s 200th anniversary and the appointment of Mrs McKenzie as principal, Mr Allen hailed the installation of the new MUGA pitch as “a sign of confidence in the future of The Cope Primary School” which has an enrolment in excess of 100 pupils.

He revealed that consideration is being given as to how the new pitch can be used by the whole community in the future.