Essex college blown away by Hammers opening new Dome

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Students at an Essex specialist science and sports college were ‘blowing bubbles’ when their new artificial sports pitch and air dome was opened recently by stars from Premiership football team West Ham United.

Hammers manager Sam Allardyce, debutant Reece Burke and vice-captain and longest-serving current player Mark Noble opened The Dome at Great Baddow High School in Chelmsford.

big sam at schoolThe development was made possible by funding from Sport England’s Inspired Facilities scheme, which funds the renovation and modernisation of grassroots sports facilities.

ETC Sports Surfaces collaborated with long term sports fencing partner Zaun and sports pitch design consultants Surfacing Standards Ltd to put in the new double-skinned air dome, which houses two 43m x 33m five-a-side football pitches and is 9m high at its highest point, surrounded by Duo Sports fencing.

West Ham development coaches led training sessions and ran a tournament for local primary schools at the launch event. Both Noble and Burke, who made his Premier League debut just four days earlier, joined the training, question and answer session and signed autographs.

‘Big Sam’ presented St Michael’s School with the five-a-side tournament winners’ trophy, then spoke passionately about the benefits The Dome offered students and budding sports stars.

He said: ‘It was important for me to be here to encourage as many schools as possible to build a facility of this quality, to allow youngsters of all ages to enjoy team sports. When you’ve got a facility as good as this, and when you enjoy that facility, then the boys and girls don’t realise the physical demands they are putting on themselves because they’re enjoying it. So that’s the key thing for me.

‘Whether it’s football, rugby or tennis, physical education is so important for the whole life experience as you grow up. This a fantastic facility, and I’m sure the students will respect it and make tremendous use of it. Hopefully, one day, we’ll have a Great Baddow High School pupil running out for West Ham at the new stadium.’

Headteacher Carrie Lynch said: ‘It was brilliant to have Mr Allardyce and both West Ham United Football Club members and the West Ham United Foundation at the launch of the air dome, supporting our commitment to promoting healthy lifestyles and all year round sports participation for our students.’

The Dome is connected to the ground with over 100 anchors installed at 1.5-metre intervals. It includes a diesel-fired heating system and hanging LED floodlights, while the translucent membrane allows daytime use without lighting.

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About Zaun

Zaun Limited is the sole remaining manufacturer of welded and woven mesh fencing systems that manufactures the entire system in the UK.  Zaun makes the mesh, fencing panels, posts, clamp bars and fixings at its state-of-the-art five-acre production facility in Wolverhampton in the West Midlands.  Products have been tested and approved by testing organisations including CPNI, LPCB and Secured by Design.

Zaun works very closely with all stakeholders within the business including employees, local, national and international suppliers and a long-established customer base of fencing contractors to design, manufacture and supply high-quality fencing systems, increasingly often providing expertise in integrating PIDs and other systems into holistic security solutions.

Zaun was founded in 1996 and remains a private company solely owned by co-founder Alastair Henman with a regional office in Dubai.  They are certified to the ISO 9001 quality standard. It is also a member of the Perimeter Security Suppliers’ Association (PSSA), of which Alastair Henman is a director.

Zaun is a proud British manufacturer and founder member of the Made in Britain campaign, a key player in the UK fencing market and one of the fastest-growing companies in an increasingly competitive industry.

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