There's less than 100 days to go until the official opening of Wolverhampton's new £5.5 million Youth Zone, The Way.

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And to mark the milestone, 100 pupils from St Matthias School became the first young people to officially sign up as members.

The Way's newly recruited volunteer and Invictus Games gold medal winner Andy Roberts, who is from Wolverhampton, joined them at a special event at the school on Friday 9 October 2015.

Andy, who won a gold medal for wheelchair basketball when he represented the British Army at the Invictus Games in 2014, delivered a fully inclusive 'sit down' volley ball session pupils, and also shared his life changing experiences about serving in the Royal Engineers in Afghanistan, where 6 years ago a blast caused severe tissue and nerve damage in his leg.

He said: "It was an absolute privilege to attend The Way's 100 day kick off. What a fantastic sight it was to see 100 young people all unite and sign up as members at The Way. I hope I can help inspire lots more young people to sign up as Youth Zone members as well as the vast number of volunteers needed to make this project the success I am sure it will be."

Ervis Cera, a member of The Way's Young People's Development Group and a St Matthias pupil, said: "The Youth Zone is so exciting for the city and I cannot wait for it to open. I hope once the Youth Zone is open and lots more young people sign up as members so we all have something to do, somewhere to go and someone to talk to in our free time."

Last week's event kicks off a number of key events leading up to the Youth Zone's official opening on Saturday 16 January, 2016, which include a series of pre opening events for young people and the community to preview and test out the building.

The £5.5 million Youth Zone, part funded by the City of Wolverhampton Council, will be located on School Street and will offer a multitude of activities for young people to take part in, from sport, fitness, dance, arts, music and media to enterprise and wellbeing and self improvement. The state of the art facility will boast a high spec music room, a 3G pitch, enterprise media suite, climbing wall, multi use 4 court sports hall, cafe, dance studio, gym, cooking area, general recreation area and more.

  • released: Monday 12 October, 2015