2020-01-28 

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Rugby World Cup Winner Opens New School Farm Building

Rugby World Cup winner Phil Vickery did the honours of opening Brymore Academy’s brand new £600,000 farm building and spoke with passion about his background in farming and how the relentlessness of it helped form his career as a professional sportsman.

Phil Vickery, the former England star - and winner of Celebrity Masterchef - was shown round the school by the Brymore boys and spoke to staff and guests before unveiling a plaque.

Rugby World Cup winner, Phil Vickery, opening the Brymore Academy new school farm building.

Rugby World Cup winner, Phil Vickery, opening the Brymore Academy new school farm building.

Mr Vickery's nephew, Ethan, attends Brymore, and the rugby star said he had seen how the school had given him a sense of belonging and purpose during his education.

Phil spoke of his ties to the farming community, having grown up on a dairy farm and remains a qualified cattle inseminator, and how he still feels close to his roots. Even mentioning how the schools’ 1 acre walled garden bought back happy memories of his grandfather’s own garden from his youth – a nod to the holistic approach to land based that Brymore teaches.

"I think it is fantastic the boys here have access to a facility like this - not everyone thrives in a purely academic background so it is important we give our young people a variety of opportunities," Phil said.

"Having been shown around today, having been greeted with welcoming handshakes and smiles by all the boys, and knowing the effect this school has had on Ethan, I will leave here today feeling inspired."

The new building gained funding from the Department For Education, and an additional £100,000 from the Bridgwater and Taunton College Trust will assist with an additional purpose built farm building the school is hopeful can be erected soon.

Headteacher Mark Thomas spoke passionately about the school, his staff and the Brymore boys that attend now and those that have also gained from the school in the past. Guests from all walks of the agriculture industry, from The NFU through to Mole Valley, the Shorthorn Society and the Bath and West Show Society, along with the local MP and the Deputy Lord-Lieutenants mingled with some of the first ever Brymore students who attended back in 1952.

Mr Thomas said;
"The building has very much been needed by our farm, and we are delighted with the end result which includes a classroom and a new milking parlour. Agriculture is at the heart of what we do and this building is a real statement of intent for us as a school."

Mr Thomas thanked the board of governors, the staff and pupils, Bridgwater College Trust, the neighbouring farmers, the parents and Friends of Brymore Association, Bridgwater Agricultural Society, the MP and EDF.

Brymore Academy

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