An international hockey player returned to his former North East school to open its brand new, multi-purpose sports facility.


John Harris, who has represented Scotland on the international hockey stage, officially opened the all-weather Astroturf pitch at Red House School by captaining a team of alumni in a 7-a-side hockey match against current staff and pupils.

The game, which ended in a diplomatic draw, was cheered on by pupils’ family members and friends and complemented masterclasses for aspiring athletes given by John throughout the afternoon. John also took time to talk to pupils about his years at Red House and how best to make the most of the Norton-based school.

As a proud alumnus, John has always supported the school and so has his family. His mother, Sally, has previously been chair of the School Council.

Commenting about the day, John said: “I was delighted to be asked to return to my school to open the pitch.

“I loved my time as a Red House pupil and it was where I discovered my passion for hockey. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it were not for the school.”

Red House, one of the region’s highest performing independent schools, believes the physical well-being of its pupils is as important as academic study and success, which is one of the main reasons it has invested in the state-of-the-art facility.

Investment in the Astroturf pitch, which can accommodate several of the school’s sports including football, athletics and hockey, will not only enhance pupils’ experiences by encouraging them to take part in the school’s renowned sports games, it is also a visible statement to the local community that the school is staying in Norton and planning for an exciting future.

“Sport is a very important aspect of life at Red House and we believe it is highly beneficial to the physical and emotional well-being of the pupils,” said newly appointed headmaster of the school, Ken James.

“Having a first class facility onsite will increase the amount of time the pupils can spend on sport and we wanted the opening of the pitch to be interactive and fun, and couldn’t think of anyone more fitting to open the new facility.

“It was fantastic to see John inspire the students and show them how pupils from a small school can achieve great things. We hope to see more of our pupils develop their skills on the pitch and go on to succeed internationally in the future.”

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