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Time to give Droitwich better outdoor facilities
4:00pm Thursday 10th October 2013 in Sport By Steve Carley - Midlands Sports Journalist of the Year 2013, @stevecarleyWN
WHEN not writing about football, I am no stranger to kicking a ball around with some friends in the name of fitness.
I particularly enjoy a game of five-a-side, with varying degrees of success, on a Friday night in Droitwich.
But, in my opinion, the town lacks anything approaching a decent set of pitches for people to use.
Despite having one of the best leisure centres in the region, with some excellent indoor facilities, it is crying out for improvements outside.
Several years ago, my group lost its late-night indoor booking on a Friday due to the centre closing earlier at 10.30pm.
Instead, we moved to the outdoor pitches but, for my money at least, the level of enjoyment has decreased.
For those not familiar with the town’s leisure centre, outdoor matches are played on the hockey pitch situated around 100 yards from the main building.
But they are nothing short of dangerous for footballers because they are sand-based — and therefore slippery — and not the rubber crumb surface found at places like Perdiswell.
Throw in that it is split into three pitches by some flimsy netting that you can catch an ankle in and hockey goals on the touchline of two of them, and it’s a disaster waiting to happen.
I have often thought that the waste land between the centre and the pitch, which is only used when a travelling fun fair hires it, would be perfect for a set of pitches.
I’m sure there would be a demand for them in the town rather than players driving to venues in Worcester.
It would appear that Wychavon District Council, who own the site, have also considered this.
Unfortunately, as with everything, it all comes down to money so it doesn’t look like new pitches are on the way anytime soon.
Jem Teal, the council’s community development manager, said: “We’ve been in discussion with the Football Association for grant aid for this site, but we’re talking potentially £750,000 total cost and without grants it’s not affordable.”
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