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Olympic legend glimpses new £4m Marlow sports centre
OLYMPIC legend Sir Steve Redgrave met 120 young rowers and got a glimpse of his old school's new £4million sports centre.
Work is nearly complete on the state of the art complex at Great Marlow School - to be named The Redgrave Sports Centre.
The five times Olympic gold medallist was impressed with the new sporting facilities when he visited on Tuesday morning.
And he was truly overwhelmed by discovering there were 120 rowers among the pupil.
Sir Steve studied at Great Marlow in the late 70’s and early 80’s and recalled that, at that time, the school had space for only 25 students to join the rowing team.
He said: "When I heard about the numbers I was quite in shock, it blew me out; it’s quite impressive."
The Marlow Bottom resident told youngsters, hoping to follow in his footsteps: "Infra-structure is always important, otherwise there is no way to get athletes to compete on a higher level, but we know of one pupil (himself) who achieved world records despite it all, so it is not all about that.
"It’s definitely important to have a great place to train and it’s nice to have such fantastic sporting facilities, but what is important is the enthusiasm of those teaching and of those training."
Team GB junior champion twins Bethany and Ellie Osborn, 16, were the first ones to welcome Sir Steve into school grounds and were delighted for him to visit the sports centre building site.
Bethany and Ellie also use the Longridge sports centre to practice on water.
Bethany said: "The new facilities will definitely improve the way we row and it will definitely create more anticipation for the students."
The sports centre is almost ready to use - with school chiefs hoping it will be open to pupils in about a month.
Architects and builders are running the rule over the main building, also comprising a dance studio and fitness centre, carrying out final checks and making alterations and amendments.
The all weather pitch is already opened and the tennis courts only require lines to be drawn before opening.
Initially the centre will only be open to pupils initially but will be available for public use later in the year.
Headteacher Geralyn Wilson said: "The project is simply stunning and the school will be transformed."
The facilities also include basketball and netball courts.