A golden opportunity for sports students as Olympian opens school’s new gym


Last Friday pupils, at the Weald of Kent Grammar School were treated to a visit from five time Olympic medal winner Max Whitlock.

The celebrated gymnast was invited to the school in Tonbridge to officially open its newly refurbished gym and sports hall.

Currently, Weald of Kent Grammar is only one of a few schools in the area to offer A Level P.E., so the updated facilities will be crucial for helping any future star athletes hone their skills.

Councillor Mark Rhodes, Mayor of Tonbridge and Malling and the town’s MP Tom Tugendhat also joined Max to officially declare the new gym open.

The total cost of the project was around £2.7m and the students raised a lot of it through various fundraising activities including doing sponsored walks and The Three Peaks Challenge. The new facility now includes a full basketball size sports hall; dedicated gymnastics area with fixed equipment and foam pit; changing rooms, dance studio and sports café.

The school was also lucky enough to receive a limited edition Britannia Team GB sofa for their café area which was designed and made exclusively for the British athletes’ communal house while they were out in Rio.

Max, who also gave the 1300 students present a demonstration of his gymnastic skills, commented: “It’s so important for young athletes to have top quality training facilities, and I’m delighted to officially open the new gym at Weald of Kent Grammar School and gift them the Britannia sofa. For athletes relaxation is as important as training, so I’m sure the pupils will put it to good use.”

The students asked Max a variety of questions such as ‘What did you do on the evening you won your Gold Medals?’ and were fortunate enough to spend a lot of time with him, chatting, having photos taken and getting his autograph.

Maureen Johnson, the school’s Headteacher, said: “We are all very excited to meet Max. It’s great to have a reminder for our budding young athletes that their hard work and dedication could one day lead to Olympic success.”


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