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Former Canary unveils new facility at his old school in Fakenham

PUBLISHED: 16:00 26 April 2010 | UPDATED: 11:17 07 July 2010

Ryan Jarvis in action for Norwich City

Ryan Jarvis in action for Norwich City

Emma Knights

Former Norwich City footballer Ryan Jarvis went back to his old school yesterday to unveil a new £10,000 softball cage.

Mr Jarvis, 23 and who now plays for Leyton Orient, described the new facility at Fakenham High as "awesome" and, while it was too wet for a game yesterday, he said he would love to come back to the school for a softball game in the summer.

Former Norwich City footballer Ryan Jarvis went back to his old school yesterday to unveil a new £10,000 softball cage.

Mr Jarvis, 23 and who now plays for Leyton Orient, described the new facility at Fakenham High as “awesome” and, while it was too wet for a game yesterday, he said he would love to come back to the school for a softball game in the summer.

He said: “It is a brilliant facility and something for Fakenham to be proud of. Investing in sporting facilities is really important because it gives young people a better chance to do well in sport.”

Mr Jarvis, who left Norwich City in 2008, added that he was really pleased that the Canaries became the champions of League One on Saturday.

“They are going back into the Championship which is where they belong,” he said.

The new softball backstop cage at Fakenham is for the whole community to use and it is the result of a lot of fundraising and hard work by Fakenham High and Norfolk Softball Association, and also a £5,000 grant from Baseball Softball UK.

Mark House, chairman of Norfolk Softball Association and head of PE at Fakenham High, said there was lot of enthusiasm for the sport at the school and in the wider local community.

He said two Fakenham High students - Florence House, 13, and Alice Hunter, 16 - had been representing their country in a softball tournament in Czechoslovakia during the weekend, and the hope was that the new facility would encourage more people to take up the sport and uncover even more rising sports stars.

Last year the school was visited by Japanese sporting superstar Taeko Utsugi, Japan's former women's softball team manager and a household name in her homeland where the game is celebrated as a national sport. It was part of a campaign to raise the international profile of softball and bring the sport back to the Olympics.

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