The Sam White Sports Centre was officially unveiled by his mother, Mrs Pam White, applauded by Mr Pete Edwards and chairman of governors at Newark Academy Mrs Elaine Rossall. 090917LSP2-3
The Sam White Sports Centre was officially unveiled by his mother, Mrs Pam White, applauded by Mr Pete Edwards and chairman of governors at Newark Academy Mrs Elaine Rossall. 090917LSP2-3

A school sports centre named after an inspirational former pupil has been officially opened.

The Sam White Sports Centre was officially opened at Newark Academy on Saturday by sports coach Pete Edwards.

The centre was named after Sam in tribute to his passion and commitment to sport.

Sam White
Sam White

The opening coincided with Newark Academy Carnival, which raised £1,080 for the Sam White Legacy, a charity set up in his memory.

The charity aims to support brain tumour research and to improve survival and understanding of the impact of a brain tumour.

Sam died in September, 2013, aged 16, following a four-year battle with a brain tumour.

The previous year he was  chosen to carry the Olympic torch when it passed through Newark ahead of London 2012.

Among those supporting the Newark Academy carnival were, left, Molly Smith, 12, and Madi Stephens, 13. 090917LSP2-5
Among those supporting the Newark Academy carnival were, left, Molly Smith, 12, and Madi Stephens, 13. 090917LSP2-5

Sam’s mother, Mrs Pam White, said: “The naming of the new sports centre is a fantastic tribute to Sam, acknowledging his determination and resolve to return to life and school in as normal way as possible.

“The fact that he achieved that reflects the huge support and love he had from those around him, and those people also know he had a strong sense of pride and belonging.

“We can only imagine how proud he would be to see his name up there, but we know how real and important that pride would be to Sam and just how wide and infectious his smile would be.

“Thank you, Newark Academy, for helping to continue Sam’s legacy, recognising his passion for sport and keeping him in your hearts.”

The carnival, attended by 340 people, included a dog show, bouncy castle, stalls, zorbing, a fire engine and live music, and offered a chance for people to see Newark Academy’s new school building and facilities.

On the bouncy castle are, Ross Crane, Amalie Crane (21 months) and Laura Morley. 090917LSP2-1
On the bouncy castle are, Ross Crane, Amalie Crane (21 months) and Laura Morley. 090917LSP2-1

The head, Mr Andy Seymour, said: “We wanted to hold an event that showcased our amazing buildings which the local community worked so hard to achieve.

“To be able to name one of these buildings after Sam is a real privilege as he epitomised everything that you would wish to see in a young person.

“In officially opening the Sam White Sports Centre here Sam’s legacy will endure for many years to come.

“We are also delighted to be able to support the charity set up by Sam’s parents as all proceeds from the carnival will go to the Sam White Legacy.

“It has been amazing to see so many members of our community turn out today and chimes with our vision of Newark Academy being a truly great local school that sits firmly at the heart of the community.”

Friends Of Newark Academy, which organised the event, thanked the Balderton branches of Tesco and Sainsbury’s and the Newark branch of Morrisons for donations.