SPARSHOLT College’s multi-million pound sports centre was officially unveiled to industry figures and special guests at an event which celebrated sport, outdoor education and public services.

Mountaineer and adventurer Bonita Norris, currently the youngest person in the world to have stood at the North Pole and the summit of Everest, scaled the college climbing wall to ‘cut’ the ribbon and officially declare the centre open.

During her address Bonita said: “This is the best climbing wall I have ever seen in an educational establishment.”

She added: “Keep an open mind, say yes to things that scare you and don’t be afraid to fail.

“Hard work is the secret to everything – pure talent is never enough.

“Ultimately, don’t give up when you most want something because that is when you are most likely to succeed.”

The new sports centre includes a full size sports hall, climbing wall, gym, a fitness suite and a sprung floor dance studio.

The purpose-built climbing wall spans 20 metres and features many overhangs and ridges.

College principal Tim Jackson said: “This college focuses on getting people into worthwhile careers with the necessary knowledge linked specifically to skills and practised competencies, ready to face the future with confidence.

“This particularly includes facilities for our outdoor education students and, of course, our sports coaching, fitness instructing, public services and football academy students.

“However, what marks the college apart from many others is the inclusion of a separate climbing wall, which, as you will have seen, has given us some truly spectacular climbing facilities that are the envy of most colleges.”