WORLD Cup Final referee Howard Webb has visited a school for autistic children in Thurnscoe to officially open their newly refurbished sports hall.
And the ref – a sergeant in South Yorkshire Police – whistled up a special World Cup picture montage of himself to give to the Robert Ogden School on his visit on Friday, March 18.
The development of the sports hall cost around £45,000 and has taken six months to complete.
It now includes changing rooms with toilet facilities, a new equipment storage area and has been fitted with high-efficiency heating. The playing surface has also been refurbished and energy efficient lighting has been installed.
The pupils use the sports hall for PE and school clubs and it is also shared with 12 community groups – such as the Dearne Valley Archery Club who have produced national champions.
Mr Webb said: “I was thrilled to have been invited to The Robert Ogden School for the launch of the newly-designed sports hall. I really enjoyed meeting the pupils of the school and checking out the new facilities”.
National Autistic Society Principal, Gillian Roberts, said: “We are delighted by the fantastic refurbishment of the sports hall that we have managed to achieve thanks to the donations of so many individuals within the community, including Sir Robert Ogden.
“As a charity, we are dependent on the generosity of people, to carry on providing the specialist autism service to so many children, especially in this uncertain economic climate.
“We will now be able to provide even better sporting facilities for children and this can make a lot of difference to the health of children with autism, including helping them to improve their social skills by learning how to play together.
“We will also be saving money on heating and lighting with the new systems that have been installed.”