England Lioness and Chelsea Football Club centre-back, Millie Bright, officially opened Rossall School’s brand new state-of-the-art £4 million sports centre.
Millie, who was accompanied by her mother, Nicola Bright, was absolutely delighted to be chosen to open the centre and said:
“I’m honoured to open this amazing facility which will provide all pupils at Rossall School with the opportunity to participate in indoor sports. In particular, I would urge all schools to make sure that they are doing everything within their power to encourage young girls to get involved.”
Millie, who played for England in the semifinals at this year’s World Cup hosted a question and answer session for all students immediately after the opening.
School Captains, Lex Bilby and Louisa Rogerson, asked Millie a variety of questions that their peers had posed, including, ‘who was Millie’s biggest inspiration?’ and ‘how did she balance education with a love for football?’. She responded:
“Looking back, I probably should have put more into my academic life. Yet Football was my outlet, so I would advise you to make sure that you take your sport just as seriously as your academics as this will give that you have options in life.”
Along with questions regarding her career, Millie also answered questions about women’s sport and what she hopes the future holds for women athletes. She left the students with a key message:
“I think it is important to stay incredibly humble and stay loyal to the people that have helped you through tough times and provided you with opportunities.
“To this day, I have not missed a single training session. I have, however, missed family events, my nephew’s first birthday and numerous other friends and family celebrations. You have to make a lot of sacrifices but it is all worth it in the end.”
Millie, who has demonstrated what is achievable through her relentless commitment to succeed at the highest level, was the perfect candidate to open Rossall’s new facility.
The centre is a vital part in the school’s development plan and boasts a huge indoor sports hall (accommodating six badminton courts) with basketball nets, cricket nets and provisions for netball, indoor hockey and many other sports. There is also a four-lane 50m sprint track, viewing gallery, male and female changing facilities and multiple classrooms.
Headmaster Jeremy Quartermain said, “We are delighted that Millie agreed to come and open our sports centre. She is an excellent role model not only for girls but for all young people intent upon fulfilling their true potential.”
In addition to providing first-class sporting facilities for existing pupils, it is hoped that the new centre will raise the profile of Rossall School at a national and international level. The centre represents part of Rossall School’s ongoing commitment to the people of Fleetwood. It is as much a community sports centre as it is a school facility. It is already being used extensively for training and fixtures by local sports clubs including Fleetwood Town Football Club and Wyre Netball Club.
The Headmaster added: “Thank you to all those who have invested in the future of this School and given so generously in order to ensure that our children, and the people of Fleetwood will have the enjoyment of this centre for many years to come.”
Established in 1844, Rossall has a long history of sporting excellence. Sports alumni include England Rugby Union captain Peter Winterbottom, Premier Hockey Club player Jacob Draper, Lancashire cricket player Toby Lester, and England and Lancashire cricketer Nigel David Howard.